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"The Pianist" is about a Jew who hides himself in Warsaw during the Holocaust, and at a crucial moment is spared by a German soldier.
The pure goodness of the old country woman (Liz Smith) who pities and dotes on the child.
The heroism of Nancy (Leanne Rowe), who risks her own life to save Oliver's.
That is why the next-to-final scene of the movie is so intriguing.
Oliver has been rescued by his benefactor, the kind bookseller Mr.
Brownlow from time to time simply to return calm to the story.
Polanski's film is visually exact and detailed without being too picturesque.
He must have met a Fagin or two, who were not good people yet not as bad as they might have been.
In Dickens there is always the contrast between horror and comedy; his biographer Peter Ackroyd observes that the novelist sometimes referred to his plots as "streaked bacon," made of fat, meat and gristle. Brownlow, who trusts the accused pickpocket with money and books.
It was Bill Sykes, the cruelest of all Dickens' villains, who meant him harm.
In a movie that is generally faithful to Dickens, despite some smoothing out of the labyrinthine plot, Polanski's key change is to observe that Fagin does not simply exploit the boys; the old man and his pickpockets are struggling together to survive, according to the hard law that society has taught Fagin and he is teaching the boys.