This delightful adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickelby captures the essence of
the author's novel, albeit in a streamlined form, in all of its Victorian splendor and squalor.
Charlie Hunnam plays Nicholas, who enjoys a comfortable life until his father dies, and his
family is left penniless. Nicholas, his sister and mother venture to London to seek help from their
Uncle Ralph (Christopher Plummer), but Ralph's only intentions are to cruelly separate the family
and exploit them. Nicholas is sent to a squalid school run by the evil, abusive and horridly
entertaining Mr. and Mrs. Squeers (Jim Broadbent, Juliet Stevenson). Eventually,
Nicholas runs away with schoolmate and loyal friend, Smike (Jamie Bell), and the two set off to
reunite the Nickleby family.
As he did with Jane Austen's Emma,
writer-director Douglas McGrath has crafted a prestigious production that shifts
effortlessly between comedy and tragedy without compromising its warm, inviting tone.
His dialogue rings true throughout, inspiring a stellar cast including Nathan Lane,
Alan Cumming, Edward Fox, and Timothy Spall.
This film is rated PG for thematic material involving some violent action and a childbirth scene.