Arthur Clennam returns to London after working abroad for many years with his now deceased father. Almost at once he becomes involved in the problems of his mother’s seamstress Amy Dorrit and of her father residing in the Marshalsea debtors’ prison.
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The Dickens adaptation to rule them all. A beautifully measured, textured, adult-speaking anomaly that is not content to serve up creepy caricatures and sentimental clichés, but puts this writer's still-modern strenghts into full view. Quirks, tics and spasms are presented not as exotic flourishes but systemic imprints. The accumulation of detail is dazzling, the effect reminiscent of Leigh and Gherman.
No other film captures the spirit of Dickens' writing as well as this great adaptation by Christine Edzard. The actors are all perfectly cast and most of the characters are perfectly grotesque. It is a very long film of a very long book, and both invite total immersion. Sarah Pickering was born to play Amy Dorrit, and Derek Jacobi, Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness, and Cyril Cusack were never better. Do not forget.