Great Expectations – United Kingdom – Mike Newell

I went into this one with some trepidation. Great Expectations is a huge novel with many characters and a long and winding story but the cast which included Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, and Robbie Coltrane got me hooked. So off to the Elgin with 1500 other movie fans to see what turned out to be the best movie of the week so far. It will take something pretty special to beat this one out. The set design and cinematography evoke Dickens’ London perfectly and the three big name stars are perfect in their roles. Clearly Carter revels in the odd and quirky and she plays Miss. Haversham very convincingly although I am always seeing a bit of the Red Queen or Bellatrix Lestrange behind those eyes. Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as Magwitch and Coltrane is clearly having fun as Jaggers the lawyer. If you saw War Horse then you will know Jeremy Irvine who plays Pip. He does very well with an excellent supporting cast.

Mike Newell was there for a Q and A after the film and I think it was one of the best Q and A’s I have ever seen. He was funny, thoughtful, and gave us great insight into how he was able to collapse this huge novel into two hours. Obviously he cut out some major parts but in the end kept the essence of the story. Newell is an eclectic director with a long track record including Four Weddings and a Funeral, High Fidelity (Exec Producer), Pushing Tin, one Harry Potter film and Prince of Persia. So all over the map but mostly with tongue in cheek. I am guessing this movie has a real chance at some important Oscar nominations. Definitely worth your time to attend.

Great Expectations

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