Great Expectations

Rated PG-13 128 minutes 2012

Mike Newell pilots the latest adaptation of the Dickens classic with a steady hand, although it does feel a tad abbreviated. He’s got a good cast that gives the classic novel strong treatment, even if this is the sort of thing that should go to a 10-day miniseries rather than a two-hour movie. Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) does a capable job as Pip, the orphan turned gentleman by a mysterious benefactor. Ralph Fiennes is terrific as Magwitch, the criminal treated kindly by a young Pip, while Helena Bonham Carter shines in a few scenes as the wedding dress-wearing Miss Havisham (Havisham’s burning scene is handled well). Newell’s film looks good and is well acted but lacks some of the grandeur one might expect from a modern day retelling of the legendary story. It sometimes feels like Cliff Notes rather than the real thing.

Film Credits

Director: Mike Newell

Producer: Laurie Borg, David Faigenblum, Elizabeth Karlsen, Emanuel Michael, Stephen Woolley, Cliff Curtis, Jana Edelbaum, Steven Gagnon and Peter Hampden

Cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Robbie Coltrane, Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger, Sophie Rundle, Ewen Bremner, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams, Jessie Cave, Tamzin Outhwaite, Ralph Ineson and Olly Alexander

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