Great Expectations (2012)
Out Now On-Demand
Faithful adaptation of Charles Dickens' mightiest novel, with Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch. Directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Young orphan Pip (Jeremy Irvine, War Horse) is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Moving through London's class-obsessed world as a gentleman, Pip uses his newfound position to pursue the beautiful Estella (Holliday Grainger, Jane Eyre); a spoilt heiress he's loved since childhood. Yet the truth behind his great fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear...
Director Newell told Empire Magazine: "It has a different tone [to previous adaptations]. It's partly a thriller, but it's partly about treachery and letting people down that you shouldn’t let down."
- David Nicholls (based on the novel by Charles Dickens)
Rating: M Violence & content that may disturb
Surprisingly just the second proper adaptation of the Dickens classic and staple of university Stage 1 English, this lavishly costumed, supremely cast period drama hits all the themes, twists and turns without ever really providing anything memorable.
Bonham Carter is suitably vampiric as the decaying Miss Havisham, Fiennes tones down the Voldermort scares just a notch to bring to life Magwitch and Jason Flemyng is excellent as the simple blacksmith and father figure Joe. However, having been outacted and outclassed by the horse in his last role, Irvine is actually outshone by his younger brother Toby here, while the excellently monikered Grainger struggles to overcome Estella’s fundamental one-dimensionalism.
Little White Lies (UK)
Total Film (UK)