How would Richardson tackle a period film in color, something quite outside his experience? The answer was: with gusto. He and his screenwriter, the playwright John Osborne, agreed there was only one way to approach an irreverent novel like Tom Jones: that is, irreverently. Their adaptation performs wonders in compressing Fielding’s nine-hundred-page opus into a film lasting a little over two hours, while ensuring that not only are the major incidents all there but also the main themes.
February 27, 2018