This movie version of the novel amply reflects the understanding compassion that Dickens is known for. Its background scenes of London's impoverished as well as affluent class are convincingly impressive. The various caricatures seem remarkably Dickensian. Beyond that, in sharp contrast with exploitative callousness, the tenderest comfort and kindliest good cheer are effectively portrayed by a splendid cast. James D'Arcy in the title role gives a sterling performance as the appealingly generous-hearted and thoughtful Nicholas. Lee Ingleby deserves equally high praise as the woefully mistreated Smike, whom Nicholas befriends.