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GUARANTEED FRESH as of Thursday October 20, 2016 at 1:33 pm Times and listings are for Friday 10/21 through Thursday 10/27

Nicholas Nickleby

Charles Dickens' classic novel of an orphan boy done good gets the stripped-down treatment in this generally admirable adaptation. Director Doug McGrath (Emma) does a fine job juggling the tale's epic storyline, but--to me anyway--the cast just reads like some big joke. We've got Charlie Hunnam (FOX's "Undeclared"), Anne Hathaway (The Princess Diaries), Christopher Plummer, Nathan Lane, Alan Cumming and Barry Humphries (a.k.a. Dame Edna). It's not that they're bad actors, it's just that they're awfully hard to take serious as a group. As a result the film fluctuates wildly between plucky comedy and dour drama. If you don't want to wade through 900 pages of Victorian prose, however, this Cliff Notes version makes for an easy two hours. 132 minutes

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