Summary: Adapted from the classic Charles Dickens novel by Dave Nicholls (One Day) and directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) is Great Expectations. The story of a humble orphan, Pip (Jeremy Irvine, War Horse), who suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Mike Newell
Screenwriter: David Nicholls, Charles Dickens (book)
Cast: Matt Abercromby (Finch), Olly Alexander (Herbert Pocket), Helena Barlow (Young Estella), Ewen Bremner (Wemmick), Nellie Burroughes (Mrs. Compeyson), Charlie Callaghan (Young Herbert Pocket), Helena Bonham Carter (Miss Havisham), Bebe Cave (Young Biddy), Jessie Cave (Biddy), Robbie Coltrane (Mr. Jaggers), William Ellis (Compeyson), Ralph Fiennes (Magwitch), Jason Flemyng (Joe Gargery), Tim Freeman (Mr. Wopsle), Holliday Grainger (Estella), Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Joe), Jeremy Irvine (Pip), Toby Irvine (Young Pip), Richard James (Cousin Raymond), Joe Jameson (Startop), Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Bentley Drummle), Kate Lock (Camilla Pocket), Tom Machell (Finch), Tamzin Outhwaite (Molly), Sophie Rundle (Clara), David Walliams (Uncle Pumblechook), Daniel Weyman (Arthur Havisham), Charles L. Whitworth (Mrs. Raymond)
Runtime: 129 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Great Expectations’ Review:
It’s funny how many films get made that it seems don’t really need to have been made. Take a look at the new adaption of ‘Great Expectations’, why did director Mike Newell (‘Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time’, ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera’) really have to make another modern version. After all the original 1946 version was a cinematic masterpiece and there has already been a modern remake, one that starred Ethan Hawke and Gwenyth Paltrow and surfaced in 1998.
Still Newell got the funding to once again bring Charles Dickens’ work to the big screen and while he doesn’t exactly do anything new with his version if you have never seen the story before you will still marvel at its twists and turns.
For those who haven’t seen the previous adaptations of Charles Dickens classic novel, the film is about a young boy named Pip (Toby Irvine – newcomer/Jeremy Irvine – ‘Now Is Good’, ‘War Horse) who out of the kindness of his heart one day helps an escaped convict called Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes – ‘Skyfall’, ‘Wrath Of The Titans’). While Pip tries to keep the news from his guardian, Joe (Jason Flemyng – ‘Black Mirror’, ‘I Give It A Year’) the news does eventually leak out and Magwitch is returned to prison.
Pip’s life then dramatically changes when he is the young boy that is selected by the extremely wealthy (but also very strange) Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter – ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Dark Shadows’) to play with Estella (Helena Barlow – ‘Horrid Henry: The Movie’, ‘Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2’/Holliday Grainger – ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Bel Ami’) while she watches. Pip quickly develops a crush on Estella and is heart broken when he is sent away from the mansion he comes to love.
When Pip is older his life again changes when a lawyer, Mr Jaggers (Robbie Coltrane – ‘Brave’, TV’S ‘The Comic Strip Presents…’) turns up and tells Pip that he has been left a decent sum of people. Pip chooses to leave Joe and moves to London where he joins the elite, crosses paths with Estella again all while uncovering more and more secrets every single day.
Maybe the fact that Newell doesn’t do anything to change the story at all is a good thing, after all remember the mess of the modern version of ‘Jane Eyre’ that surfaced recently, proof that modern remakes can really wreck even a classic tale. While Newell’s version of ‘Great Expectations’ does nothing new at least it once again proves the skills that Dickens had as a writer.
One thing that does work with this film is the acting. While Holliday Grainger and Jeremy Irvine live up to their ‘exciting new talent’ tags the usual suspects like Robbie Coltrane and Ralph Fiennes again deliver faultless performances. However the star here is Helena Bonham Carter who really makes the character of Miss Havisham warped and mysterious… this is clearly one of Carter’s best performances to date.
If you’ve seen the other versions of ‘Great Expectations’ than you may want to save your money and sit this one out, but if you’re a newbie to the story then this is a great place to start.
Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Great Expectations′: Check Episode #23 (available 8th March) of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Great Expectations’. Please also check Dave Griffiths’s review of ‘Great Expectations’ that is available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.