Nicholas Nickleby Redux

Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it,
but to delight in it when it comes.

We watched Nicholas Nickleby this week and I had forgotten what a great movie it really is.  Full of trademark Dickensian characters, suffering, pathos, humor, justice, romance, cruelty, compassion, a lecherous old man and a indignant older brother who defends his sister’s reputation, family love and fabulous quotes, it is a movie that bears an annual re-viewing. 

My husband remarked that the movie begins at the grave of a broken Nicholas Nickleby, the family in grief and distress; it ends at the same grave with a new, redeemed Nicholas Nickleby who has restored and extended the family.  Redemption always comes with two things: evil is judged and put down, and righteousness is lifted up.  We all rejoice when good triumphs over evil. 

Whose heart can remain unmoved at these words between Nicholas and the young orphan Smike?

Where is your [Smike’s] home?

You are my home.

I transcribed the final toast, the glorious recap of the movie:

In every life, no matter how full or empty one’s purse, there is tragedy.  It is the one promise life always fulfills.  Thus, happiness is a gift, and the trick is not to expect it but to delight in it when it comes; and to add to other people’s store of it.

What happens if, too early, we lose a parent, that party on whom we rely for only…everything?  What did these people do when their families shrank? 

They cried their tears. 

But then they did the vital thing: they built a new family person by person.  They came to see that family need not be defined merely as those with whom they share blood, but as those for whom they would give their blood.

I am a fan of Rachel Portman’s soundtracks.  When I first heard the music, I requested (and received!) this.  If you haven’t seen this movie, you need to watch it.  If it’s been a while since you have, check it out again.  You’ll be glad.

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8 thoughts on “Nicholas Nickleby Redux

  1. We love that movie!  And the soundtrack is wonderful, too.  I remember when we first watched it, I commented on how similar the music was to that of Emma (which means I loved it).  We’ll have to bring that out again and watch it soon.

  2. I have watched part of this……and fell asleep…which is what happens to me and movies alot.  At any rate, I will rent it again because I did think it was a good adaptation.  Furthermore, I am delighted with the final toast.  Thank you for taking the time to transcribe it.
    Two daughters home from college this coming week, so it should be more lively around Hiddenart.  Probably similar to your week of guests.  Loved the Feasting post 🙂

  3. Nettie, thank you for the link and recommendation.  I plan to read the 900+ book sometime this summer after we’ve returned home from Great Britain.  I’m sure there are some fabulous quotes waiting to be harvested.Kathleen, Rachel Portman did the soundtrack for Emma also.  One of the criticisms often leveled at Portman’s music is that it sounds so much alike.  It is a valid point, but I sure enjoy her sound.  Deb, you’ll have to let me know what you think after you’ve watched it, OK?

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