I only recently read Little Dorrit, and it is my new favourite Dickens novel. The story of Amy Dorrit, an honest girl born in debtor’s prison, is a wonderful tale full of ups and downs, trials and tribulations, death and romance. As with many Dickens books, it literally has a cast of thousands, and this production follows most of the storylines from the book quite faithfully. I just watched this on the internet, and I thought this version was sensitive to the material and did a good job of keeping the characters engaging and true while obviously having to shorten Dickens’ voluminous descriptions into shorter episodes. The story is a bit of a soap opera with plenty of bad luck and broken hearts lying around. However, it totally works for me. When I read the book, I actually couldn’t put it down and devoured it in a couple of days. This movie was the same way. I couldn’t stop watching it or wait until the next episode. At the end, I was sitting in front of my computer crying. It is just a lovely story, well-scripted, beautifully acted, and engaging throughout. So I highly recommend this version if you like Dickens at all or if you like any of the actors because the cast (Russell Tovey, Matthew Macfadyen and Claire Foy especially) do a lovely job.
UPDATE: I received my DVD from Amazon and am thrilled to have purchased it. I had seen it on the internet and on Masterpiece (I’m in the US) and the episodes on the DVD are a bit different from what was shown on PBS. The DVD set consists of 4 discs in a widescreen format with 14 episodes coming in at a whopping 452 minutes and includes an interesting “making of” feature with info about Dickens himself as well as the film’s production. I’m pretty sure I saw a scene or two here that was missing on PBS, plus I got the widescreen format that I didn’t get on my TV. A word of caution: the episodes end in cliff-hangers that make it almost impossible to go to bed without watching “just one more episode.” My husband and I both love it and have already recommended it to several people we know. This is a great movie that will make a superb addition to your home DVD library.
Review by D. Loomis