Great Expectations TIFF 2012 Review

Posted 10 years ago by myetvmedia

Great Expectations: Director Mike Newell Brings TIFF 2012 A Brilliant Gem

Charles Dickens’ brilliantly crafted characters and the worlds they inhabit will never grow old even as we mark Dickens’ bicentenary.  Director Mike Newell’s reinterpretation of Dickens’ 1860 classic Great Expectations is truly glorious.  The British cast of acclaimed actors including Ralph Fiennes (Magwitch), Helena Bonham Carter (Miss Havisham), Robbie Coltrane (Mr. Jaggers), Sally Hawkins (Mrs. Joe), Jason Flemyng (Joe Gargeryand Ewen Bremner (Wemmick) is superbly matched to those imagined by Dickens. Dave Nicholls has done a masterful job adapting the novel to the screenplay.  Newell’s production of Great Expectations will certainly reignite a passion for Dickens’ tales for a new generation.

The costumes, settings, cinematography and music  are superb and expert editing seamlessly transports us to the world of Miss Havisham.  Estella played by Holliday Grainger, (The Borgias), Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Jeremy Irvine as Pip, (War Horse) are thoroughly convincing in their roles.  Robbie Coltrane brings a new twist to the role of Mr. Jaggers with his sinister execution of his duties.

Newell’s production of Great Expectations has exquisitely balanced the beauty of Dickens’ period piece with a modernized retelling that reminds us that human nature has not changed in the interceding years. Newell’s adaptation is thoroughly accessible and stays true to the period piece unlike the 1998 version starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethane Hawke that rebooted the story completely to a very modern setting.

Miss Havisham has traditionally been portrayed as a heartless, despicable character whose  broken heart is justification to quench any possibility for love in EstellaMike Newell presents a much more forgivable character in this version;  pitiable and pathetic, she does not inspire hate. Helena Bonham Carter’s Miss Havisham is fascinating, her signature large eyes peering languidly out at a world that has mistreated her, stealing her youth, her soul and much of her fortune.

The movie opens with Young Pip (Toby Irvine, Jeremy’s brother), the soft-hearted orphan whose act of sympathy and kindness to an escaped convict, will change his life. Toby Irvine is magnetic on screen, portraying the innocence of youth and the ardour of young passions and we can expect to see much more of this young actor in the future.  Young Estella (Helen Barlow)Miss Havisham’s charge, forms an attachment to Pip despite Miss Havisham’s conniving to keep her heart untouched by the boy.  True to human nature everyone has their secret personal agenda to promote fostering or thwarting their relationship. Life will unfold for these two young people with everyone seemingly intent on sabotaging their happiness. Dickens’ tale of love, deception and misplaced loyalties keeps us spellbound  as we follow  Pip and Estella from childhood into their young adult lives. Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of Magwitch is outstanding and he obviously thoroughly relished the role. The heart-wrenching revelation that he is the secret benefactor and not Miss Havisham is beautifully executed through clever adaptation of the novel. Ralph Fiennes may indeed get well-deserved Oscar attention for his role as Magwitch.

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Great Expectations TIFF 2012 Review

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