Yesterday I was in stoke on car-related business, which gave me chance to go to the cinema, something which I should do more often. The film which struck me most was Roman Polanski’s Oliver, why should such an auteur do a kid’s movie?

The answer is that Oliver wasn’t a kid’s movie: parts of it were dark and brooding. There’s no overt violence, just suggested violence, which is worse. Jamie foreman made a fearsome bill Sykes – dark, brooding and more than a little psychotic. This is Charles Dickens’ tale as it was intended to be, stripped of the songs and dodgy cockney accents. Polanski again proves himself to be a master – there are some simply breathtaking shots in this film.

Speaking of which, has anyone noticed how so many forthcoming Hollywood movies are adaptations of British books? Yesterday I saw a trailer for The Loin, The Witch and the wardrobe, as well as goblet of fire. I really think we’re in for a treat with both of these films. The latter is a continuation of the potter series, which seems to be becoming darker and darker with every film; the former, I suspect, is Disney’s answer to The Lord of the Rings, (which was made by New line, an offshoot of Warner, who also make Potter). It was only a matter of time before the Disney corp. responded with something similar.

From what little I saw, they are very similar: the same grandiose mise-en-scene employed in Lotr is employed in TLTWATW. Both were filmed in new Zealand. The irony is, the authors of both books were good friends, and drank in the same Oxford pub. I only hope Adamson is as faithful to CS Lewis as Jackson was to Tolkien.

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