May 10, 2010

Little Dorrit DVD: Review

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Maybe you remember how I read Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens and didn't like it much? I requested the DVD from the library anyway to see how they compared. This was the 2008 BBC TV serial based on the novel. While I didn't care much for the book, I highly recommend the DVD.

Amy Dorrit is played by Claire Foy and Arthur Clenman by Matthew Macfadyen (Hello Mr Darcy!). All the actors did a spectacular job. The added an emotional dimension I thought was missing from the book. I actually cared what happened to them.

The best characters of course were the villians. Rigaud (Andy Serkis) was over the top crazy. Mrs Merdle (Amanda Redman) was my favorite though. She was icy cold and mean and any scene with her and Fanny Dorrit was entertaining.

What really made this adaptation an improvement was the rearrangement of the chronology of the story by Andrew Davies. It made much more sense. I wasn't confused by what was happening. It's also gorgeous to look at. The costumes and scenery is just beautiful. Although Fanny's over the top outfits are laughable!

For once I'm saying to skip the book and go right to the film.


  1. I haven't read the book, but I agree, as usual, the BBC mini-series is excellent. I saw it last year.

  2. Love this adaptation--I've seen it twice. I'm reading the book currently, and I think having seen the movie is making it an enjoyable experience because I'm picturing the actors, and I'm loving hearing more outbursts from Aunt F!

  3. This sounds good - thanks for the info :)

  4. I really enjoyed this adaptation. I have actually not read the book, but the miniseries kept me very entertained.

  5. Wow, I think that's the first time someone's told me to skip a book and watch the movie instead.

  6. I've thought that "Little Dorrit" proved that even Dickens had off days.

    But that makes sense--didn't Davies do the famous A&E version of Pride and Prejudice? I've seen his productions and they're top notch.

  7. haven't seen or read this one but am always looking for a good bbc-type flick to watch. i'm off to check if my library (or netflix) has it available! thanks for letting me skip the book. lol.

  8. WordLily- Glad you liked it too.

    Shelley- That might be the way to read Dickens. I watched Bleak House before I read the book and enjoyed both. I wonder if I would have liked it as much if I hadn't?

    Sheila- You're welcome!

    Mari- I watched episode after episode. I wanted to keep watching!

    Kathy- I know, I feel a little bad about that.

    Scribbit- I think he did. And Bleak House too.

    Nat- Hope you find it!

  9. I don't know why I enjoy Victorian literature so much, since it's not the era of my work, but there's so much to be gained from being immersed in a lengthy novel!

    My advice, for what it's worth: skip Dorrit, reread Bleak House.

  10. Mm. After I saw the mini-series I thought about reading the book.. the length of it always put me off! I think I will skip it though.

  11. So funny that you blogged about this! I'm right in the middle of the series now. Waiting for the 3rd disk on Netflix. I haven't read the book and probably won't since I've read reviews similar to yours. But my MIL saw the series on TV last summer and recommended it to me. I'm loving it so far and hate that I have to wait between disks.

  12. Andrea- I would hate to have to wait! Hope you enjoy the rest of the disks.

  13. Is this the same one that Masterpiece showed a while back? I've been meaning to sit down and watch it for ages now. Glad to hear it was so good.

  14. I liked the DVD, which made me buy the book, but I haven't heard many good things about the book so I haven't had the courage to pick it up yet.


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