Everyone's talking Oscars tonight, so let's get into the swim! Here, with help from IMDb, is a list of the films based on Dickens's books that have received Academy Awards and nominations over the years:
Scrooged (1988): nominated for Best Makeup.
Little Dorrit (1988): nominated for Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1984): nominated for Best Short Film, Animated.
Scrooge (1970): nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Song ("Thank You Very Much"), and Best Score.
Oliver! (1968): won Best Picture, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Score for a Musical, and an honorary award for choreography (Onna White). Also nominated for Best Actor (Ron Moody), Best Supporting Actor (Jack Wild), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Film Editing.
Great Expectations (1946): won Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and White. Also nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (David Lean), and Best Writing, Screenplay.
A Tale of Two Cities (1935): nominated for Best Picture and Best Film Editing.
David Copperfield (1935): nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Assistant Director. (Imagine nominating the assistant director and not the director! I wonder what that was all about.)
What do you suppose Mr. Dickens would wear on the red carpet? Something very dashing, I would think, considering his love for fancy clothes!
The Invisible Woman is a film that goes to great lengths to uncover the hidden Dickens, a Dickens unfamiliar to those who enjoy his happy endings and the moralistic brushstrokes that redeem Scrooge through Bob Cratchit’s tightly knit family.
Here, Ralph Fiennes has taken the sordid side of Dickens from Claire Tomalin’s biography of Ellen “Nelly” Ternan, and infused it into the film with no lack of passion, but a great deal of narrative depth and integrity. After the Toronto screening I saw, director/star Ralph Fiennes and his co-star Felicity Jones talked about their passion for the script as well as for the source material. The young Jones was challenged by the “meat” she found in the role.
At the same time, though, the film waded into soap opera territory: straining to find a dark side to Dickens that scholars know existed, without balancing his lesser qualities with his great talent.
In December, a concert version of A Christmas Carol aired on PBS. I DVRed it but haven't yet seen it -- it's part of an enormous pile of DVRed stuff that I'm currently working my way through! However, I did get to hear the music on CD a while back, and reviewed it here.
In the Boston Globe, Kevin Hartnett updates his account of the Lowell textile workers who impressed and inspired Dickens. Sadly, their story took a turn that might be described as . . . well, Dickensian.