- Rated: PG
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 12 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: July 22, 2003
- Originally Released: 2002
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Special Edition
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 2.35
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Dolby Digital 5.1 - English
- Stereo Surround - French
- Stereo Surround - Spanish
- Additional Release Material:
- Featurette: CREATING A CLASSIC
- Audio Commentary: Douglas McGrath - Director
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Los Angeles Times - 12/27/2002
"...With wonderful side characters. First and foremost is Nathan Lane....Accompanying Lane gloriously is Barry Humphries..."
New York Times - 12/27/2002
"...Swift, engaging entertainment....The director has produced a colorful, affecting collage of Dickensian moods and motifs..."
USA Today - 12/18/2002
"...This mid-19th century tale of survival after death of a parent is still compelling today, and its message of strength and the importance of family continues to resonate..."
Premiere - 01/01/2003
"...This is Dickens with an emphasis on the picturesque and entertaining, and McGrath's cast is game for it..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/17/1993
"...Positively brisk, sparkling....[McGrath] manages the feat by keeping the flavors of the book piquant..."
Rolling Stone - 02/06/2003
"...Christopher Plummer steals the show....It's a great performance....Lively fun..."
Box Office - 03/01/2003
"...Blessed by an excellent cast and gorgeous cinematography....[The film] seems to grace the screen and all who view it, a rare accomplishment these days..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 02/01/2003
"...Much of it is enormously entertaining..."
Total Film - 07/01/2003
"...McGrath constructs a lean, fast-moving fable where good triumphs over evil and the cruel and heartless get their just desserts..."
Sight and Sound - 08/01/2003
"...[McGrath] honours the spirit of a well-loved classic, selflessly subdues the traces of a personal style and hands the show over to the actors..."
Writer-director Douglas McGrath indulges his taste for the classics again, having made his feature film debut with Jane Austen's EMMA (1996), then changing pace with an underrated original comedy COMPANY MAN (2000), and back again with Dickens's classic NICHOLAS NICKLEBY. Common Dickensian themes of poverty, social class, and honor come across clearly in this tale of a 19-year-old country gentlemen (Charlie Hunnam) who is suddenly impoverished when his beloved father dies after losing his fortune. Nicholas, with his mother (Stella Gonet) and sister Kate (Romola Garai), find themselves at the mercy of their rich, loutish uncle Ralph Nickleby (Christopher Plummer) who delights only in their misery. He sends Nicholas away to work as a teacher at Dotheboys Hall, a decrepit boarding school attended by sad, soiled, abused urchins. Meanwhile, Kate's reputation is at stake with uncle Ralph trying to marry her off to a foulmouthed client to whom he owes a debt. With the help of his faithful sidekick Smike (Jamie Bell), Nicholas avenges Kate's honor and conspires with some new friends to bring down horrid uncle Ralph.
Other filmmakers have attempted to show Dickens' timelessness with modern versions of novels, such as Alfonso Cuaron's GREAT EXPECTATIONS (1998) or even Richard Donner's SCROOGED (1988). McGrath provides a period portrait of which Dickens would no doubt approve. The principle strength here is a large ensemble of fine character actors such Jim Broadbent as the delightfully amoral headmaster Wackford Squeers, the deliciously terrifying Juliet Stevenson as Mrs. Squeers and Nathan Lane as the benevolent dreamer Vincent Crummles.
- Theatrical Release Date: December 27, 2002