Great Expectations

Great Expectations


Reviewed by: Maria Realf

It must be impossible to film an adaptation of this Dickens classic without audiences having Great Expectations of their own – but fortunately Mike Newell’s take does not disappoint, with sumptuous cinematography and an impressive British cast.

As the protagonist Pip, rising star Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) proves he has the heart-throb looks to give Robert Pattinson a run for his money, and shares a convincing – if not always sizzling – chemistry with Holliday Grainger’s icy Estella. However the pretty young pair are both eclipsed by Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, bringing perhaps Dickens’ most iconic creation to life in her own inimitable way. Eccentric, bitter and marvellously melodramatic, Miss H steals every scene she’s in – and the costume department really ought to scoop some awards too for her hauntingly elaborate wedding gown.

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There are other notable performances, including Jason Flemyng as the affable Joe Gargery and Ben Lloyd-Hughes as the immensely irritating Bentley Drummle, although Ralph Fiennes’ over-acted Magwitch might have worked better on the stage. Plus look out for short but sweet cameos from the likes of Sally Hawkins and David Walliams, who seem to be having a blast as the fiery Mrs Joe and pretentious Uncle Pumblechook.

Some may query whether we really need another adaptation of Great Expectations so soon after the BBC's recent TV version - and the honest answer may be no. However, it could also be argued that, rather like Christmas pressies, you don’t have to need something to enjoy it.

Reviewed on: 27 Nov 2012
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Great Expectations packshot
An adaptation of the Dickens classic about an orphaned boy who comes into a fortune.
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Director: Mike Newell

Writer: David Nicholls, based on the book by Charles Dickens.

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine, Sally Hawkins, Helena Barlow, Robbie Coltrane

Year: 2012

Runtime: 120 minutes

BBFC: 12 - Age Restricted

Country: UK


London 2012

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