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Overacted, underwritten, murky (some scenes appear to have been filmed by candelight), and essentially implausible, it succeeds only in churning up an atmosphere of ghoulish sentimentality.
Donsky, who gives his cast the confidence to show considerable emotion, clearly understands that he is working with lurid material, and he plays against it, seemingly as inspired by Dickens as by the silent cinema...
Donsky, whose background is in the theatre, gives the film a solid structure, reveals a stylist's eye, and draws lively performances from a uniformly colorful cast.
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