Just married Hong Kong couple Chen & Lily emigrate to England, soon to become parents to a little baby boy and generally struggle through life. Chen works long days in a restaurant, while ... See full summary »
Director Mike Newell has something in common with filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón: The both of them have directed an installment of the Harry Potter film franchise, and directed an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Cuarón directed the 1998 modernized adaptation of Dickens' story, and the third Harry Potter film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004). Newell directed the fourth Potter film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) and of course this adaptation of the Dickens story. See more »
At the very beginning when Pip is running towards the camera he steps into a muddy hole where there seems to be large wide modern tyre marks. See more »
[sneaking up behind]
Hold your noise! Hold your noise you little devil, or I'll cut your throat! Tell us your name, quick.
Once more, give it mouth!
[pushing the boy down]
Pip, Sir. Don't sir, please!
[turning him upside down]
You've got wills on you, boy? You've got wills on ya!
[puts him back on his feet]
Come here. What fat cheeks you've got. Darn me if I couldn't eat 'em. Where's your mother?
[...] See more »
I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)
[guests sing a Joe's Christmas dinner] See more »
An at times gripping but overall meandering retelling
This adaptation of Great Expectations did enchant me at some points. There was a definite highlight in the relationship between Magwitch (played by Fiennes)and Pip (Irvine). The issue, however, comes with a certain lack of focus in the film: it could have centered on the gripping dynamic of those two, but instead wandered between hopeless Estella-loving Pip and confused gentleman-aspiring Pip, not choosing to dwell on the excellent depictions of rough father figure Magwitch and reluctant son Pip. The best moments involved them - from the disbelief when Pip realizes who Magwitch is to the suspense and melancholy of their later scenes.
In short, the acting was spot-on, but the story wavered. Director Newell walked a very fine line between kitschy and touching in depictions of Havisham, Estella and Pip's relationship. With Estella and Pip's main confrontation, for example, I found myself drawn in and absorbed by their emotions - but the over-the-top display of melodrama, with Estella over-symbolically torn between Havisham and Pip, quickly cut through the tension and made it veer toward the more absurd. Bonham Carter as Havisham was a good choice, but it seemed almost too obvious: she plays the part as if straight from Tim Burton's CORPSE BRIDE, a film she herself has compared her character to.
It was worth it to watch the excellent acting by Irvine and Fiennes. There were laughs and tension but it was all quite formulaic; and the meandering film focus, finally leading to a spotlight on Estella/Pip but without a satisfying kick in the end, did not add up to a particularly memorable film. 6/10.
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