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Great Expectations (2012)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 8 November 2013 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer

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A series of events change the orphaned Pip's life forever as he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.

Director:

Mike Newell

Writers:

David Nicholls (screenplay), Charles Dickens (novel)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Toby Irvine Toby Irvine ... Young Pip
Ralph Fiennes ... Magwitch
Jason Flemyng ... Joe Gargery
Sally Hawkins ... Mrs. Joe
William Ellis ... Compeyson
David Walliams ... Mr. Pumblechook
Bernice Stegers ... Mrs. Hubble
Tim Freeman Tim Freeman ... Mr. Wopsle
Alan Rushton Alan Rushton ... Mr. Hubble
Sheila Simpson Sheila Simpson ... Mrs. Wopsle
Ralph Ineson ... Sergeant
Steve Morphew ... Soldier
Helena Barlow Helena Barlow ... Young Estella
Richard James ... Cousin Raymond
Roberta Burton Roberta Burton ... Mrs. Raymond
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Storyline

A series of events change the orphaned Pip's life forever as he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

We are who we are, people don't change. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Grandes Esperanças See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$88,500, 8 November 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$258,656, 24 November 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Five actors in this film have played in the Harry Potter franchise: Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jessie Cave and Helena Barlow. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[last lines]
Estella: I had heard that you were here and thriving, and I had a desire to see my old friend. My only friend.
Estella: Every last minute? You said that you would always think of me.
Pip: And I have.
Estella: That you would think of the good in me.
Pip: Always. You're a part of me, Estelle.
Estella: You were on a ship, they said. On the river...
Pip: I love you, Estelle.
Estella: [a tear of relief] I'm glad.
PipEstella: [they join hands]
See more »

Connections

Version of Great Expectations (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

I Saw Three Ships (Come Sailing In)
(uncredited)
Traditional
[guests sing a Joe's Christmas dinner]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Expectations that are not really met
4 September 2013 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Far from a terrible film but rather disappointing too, seeing as this did have a lot going for it. Plus the trailer actually looked really good. There are certainly some good things, even when a film or series doesn't quite work there are not many times where there is nothing redeeming about it. This Great Expectations does have a fair few merits and the best of these merits actually come off quite well. The costumes and sets are both beautiful and evocative, and the reuniting of Pip and Estella has some very clever lighting, there is great atmosphere and poetry in this moment. The music is haunting, is fitting for the tone of the film and doesn't overbear things too much. The opening scene is very atmospherically effective also, though the adaptation that did this scene best and quite possibly without equal is David Lean's.

And while the acting is inconsistent, there are some very good performances, and actually most of the performances fall into the very good category. The star was Ralph Fiennes, his Magwitch was both creepy and tragic, in the earlier scenes Fiennes is chilling but later on he is very likable and you feel pity for the character. Helena Bonham Carter really gives her all to Miss Havisham, wonderfully bitter and dramatic, if physically a little too on the voluptuous side for a character that is described the complete opposite in the book. Jason Flemying is an excellent and dignified Joe, Robbie Coltrane is firm and somewhat larger than life as Jaggers and Olly Alexander's Herbert Pocket is eccentric and quaint as well as earnest and upbeat, a very engaging performance of a potentially dull character.

Jeremy Irvine looks the part for Pip but his acting style came across as too overwrought and too innocent, while Holly Grainger looks radiant but not cold enough for Estella. They are marginally better than the miscast leads in the respectable but flawed 2011 BBC adaptation, but only just. David Walliams mugs his way through the role of Uncle Pumblechook and painfully so, it may work for Little Britain but it is completely wrong here. Toby Irvine and Helena Barlow are very competent and work well together, if lacking that extra spark to make them truly memorable, Barlow also could have a little more spiteful.

Aside from these problematic casting choices there are other reasons why this adaptation of Great Expectations fell short. It is a very difficult story to adapt, Dickens generally is difficult to adapt, but the story is not very engaging here, though there are some bright spots like the opening scene. The pacing can get tedious while some of the details are rushed through and under-explained, the Pip, Estella and Miss Havisham scenes veer towards the absurd rather than the tense and the scenes between Irvine and Holliday don't have that much pulse. The ending is also very badly bungled.

The script can get rather trite and wordy with some awkward tonal shifts. And while the period detail is great and there are moments where the lighting is clever, the way the film looks is rather too grim, too much of the Harry Potter and Tim-Burton-at-his-most-Gothic vibe. Mike Newell does deserve some credit for bringing out the story's dark approach but too often it is too emphasised so the film generally lacks life, and consequently the dark obsession that is at the heart of this great story comes across as rather flat. Overall, a long way from bad but not as great as it could have been, personally this was a mixed feelings sort of reaction towards the film. 5/10 Bethany Cox


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