Little Dorrit (1988): Oscar Nominated Film, Starring Alec Guinness

Christine Edzard adpated and directed Little Dorrit, based on the 1857 novel by Charles Dickens of the same name.

The music, by Giuseppe Verdi, was arranged by Michael Sanvoisin.

The film stars Derek Jacobi as Arthur Clennam and Sarah Pickering in the title role. Pickering had never previously acted on screen; she was cast after writing to the production team claiming to ‘be’ Little Dorrit; it is her only screen acting role.

A large cast of seasoned British and Irish stage and film actors was assembled to play the dozens of roles, among them are Alec Guinness, Simon Dormandy, Joan Greenwood, Roshan Seth, Miriam Margolyes, Cyril Cusack and Max Wall.

Oscar Nominations: 2

Screenplay (Adapted): Christine Edzard

Supporting Actor: Alec Guinness


Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context

The most nominated film in 1988, “Rain Man” received four Oscars out of its 8 nods, including Picture, Director, and Actor.  The other Best Picture nominees represented a mixed bag in genre and quality:
“Dangerous Liaisons” and “Mississippi Burning,” each with 8 nominations, Mike Nichols’s comedic fable “Working Girl,” with 6, and Kasdan’s literary adaptation “The Accidental Tourist,” with 4.

This was Kevin Kline’s first and only nomination in a category that included vet Alec Guinness in “Little Dorrit,” Martin Landau in “Rucker: the Man and His Dream,” River Phoenix in “Running on Empty,” and Dean Stockwell in “Married to the Mob.”