Just married Hong Kong couple Chen & Lily emigrate to England, soon to become parents to a little baby boy and generally struggle through life. Chen works long days in a restaurant, while ... See full summary »
Faithful version - good despite some casting mistakes ie Helena Bonham Carter
It's time a big screen faithful color version of Great Expectations was made as an update to the Black & White David Lean classic and supersede the mediocre television adaptations. Forget about the Gwyneth Paltrow nonsense. Comparisons with the previous versions are inevitable. David Lean's version is the most magical with the wide eyed John Mills and the beautiful Jean Simmons and remains the best. The worst was the 2011 BBC version with youthful Gillian Anderson as Ms Havisham and an Estella that wasn't pretty and a Pip that was too pretty.
In this version, Ralph Fiennes was intense and watchable if not the most convict like. Pip was well cast. Jeremy Irvine is earnest and pleasant looking while not being too handsome which would have been wrong. Jason Fleyming was bit too dignified and not blue collar enough for blacksmith Joe Gargery. They went very wrong with the women. Helena Bonham was too perky and silly looking. She acted as she does in Tim Burton's movies snapping her dialog out in her clipped way. She made a joke of the role. Some one older like Helen Mirren or Cate Blanchett would have been better. Estella wasn't well cast. The younger Estella was a bit common looking and her ginger hair was jarring. Holiday Grainger was too round faced. While she is pretty from some angles, she wasn't haughty enough. Her looks are more Renaissance - hence the Borgias, than 19th Century.
As far as direction, there is a more intense in your face feel which was a bit too crowded sometimes. Some of the action is too much in shadows and crucial dialog rushed. The screenplay is good - faithful and fairly complete. Cinematography is good in the rural areas but scenes of London were too ugly.
Overall it's worth a watch despite the miscasting.
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