There's a good reason why Christine Edzard's six-hour film of Little Dorrit
and the Royal Shakespeare Company's nine-hour-plus stage production of The
Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby
are among the most successful adaptations
of Charles Dickens's novels: The sheer scope and breadth of these lengthy
books need room to stretch out and breathe. But if the 800-page Nicholas
absolutely must be shoehorned into a two-hour feature film, this is
undoubtedly the way to go: Strip the story down to its barest essentials and
fill the inevitable gaps with as many colorful cameos as time will allow.
Nicholas Nickleby is born into a l...