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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Somebody wants to turn this frog into a prince.",
With a sensational cast, haunting music, and great cinematography, this modern adaptation of Dickens's novel is far more fun and far more provocative than the original, however much one might like that novel. Set in a contemporary Gulf Coast village in Florida, Finnegan Bell (Ethan Hawke) is brought up by Joe (Chris Cooper), the lover of his sister, who has abandoned them...
Published on 4 Nov 2004 by Mary Whipple

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst adaptation of this novel seen by me
While some will welcome the move to a 20th century setting, I fear that even allowing for what was a stellar cast at the time, the whole film left me pretty unemotionally involved for what is a timeless tale of missed opportunity and selfish love. The updating did not bring any new insights or the change of setting to USA improve the storytelling and of the actors none...
Published 14 months ago by Siriam


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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Somebody wants to turn this frog into a prince.",, 4 Nov 2004
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
With a sensational cast, haunting music, and great cinematography, this modern adaptation of Dickens's novel is far more fun and far more provocative than the original, however much one might like that novel. Set in a contemporary Gulf Coast village in Florida, Finnegan Bell (Ethan Hawke) is brought up by Joe (Chris Cooper), the lover of his sister, who has abandoned them both. A working class boy with a love of fishing and a gift for artwork, Finn is ten when escaped murderer Arthur Lustig (Robert DeNiro) surfaces one day while Finn is out exploring tidal pools. After helping him, Finn later forgets him.
Finn eventually meets Nora Dinsmore (Anne Bancroft), the richest woman in town, and her niece Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow), whom he has been hired to visit every Saturday. When Estella goes away to school, Finn loses touch with both of them, until, years later, he is suddenly invited to New York to show his artwork. A mysterious trust supports him, and he reconnects with Estella and all the other characters from the past.
Director Alfonso Cuaron and screenwriter Mitch Glazer have created a modern story of obsession and revenge. Nora Dinsmore, who was jilted on the day of her wedding, thirty years before, has been training Estella, over the years, to tease and then destroy the men who love her. Anne Bancroft plays Nora to the hilt as a funky and exotic caricature, heavily made up, carrying a cigarette holder and martini glass, while gyrating to erotic music and chanting "Chick-a-boom." DeNiro is a vicious Lustig, and his first appearance is a shocker. Ethan Hawke, as Finn, does a good job, though he is hard pressed to hold his own when the rest of the cast is camping it up. Paltrow, as Estella, is coldly calculating in her sexual teasing, and lacking the vulnerability one expects. Chris Cooper, as the sympathetic Joe, provides the perfect foil for the other characters at key points in the film.
The lush cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezky) features Spanish moss, the eerie and dilapidated old house of Nora Dinsmore, lovely scenes of tidal pools and wild nature, and the hot New York art and café world. The director and producers have chosen nine different composers, ranging from Tory Amos to Iggy Pop, to create appropriate music for a succession of very different scenes, and they succeed in creating a haunting mood and atmosphere. Though the ending is abrupt and trite, the cast is terrific, and the film is great fun, especially in its contrasts to the Dickens novel. Mary Whipple
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I think this is a fantastic adaptation, brilliantly played by all actors. Five stars, everyone I have shown it to love it too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Worst adaptation of this novel seen by me, 28 May 2013
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
While some will welcome the move to a 20th century setting, I fear that even allowing for what was a stellar cast at the time, the whole film left me pretty unemotionally involved for what is a timeless tale of missed opportunity and selfish love. The updating did not bring any new insights or the change of setting to USA improve the storytelling and of the actors none really impressed, De Niro in particular seeming content to simply reprise his mafioso persona seen in many other films he has been in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great expectation, 29 Jun 2014
This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Good to have obtain a copy of this story as I am keen to get to grips with the point in this story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different, 30 May 2014
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This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
Worth watching although a modern adaptation of the Dickens story. Great cast and certainly worth viewing, if only for De Niro.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great underrated movie!, 21 May 2014
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This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
What I love about it is the setting, the atmosphere it puts you in. Great acting, especially DeNiro's! I just wish he had more scenes. Overall, a very good movie with great cast.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best, 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
so good , GWYNETH PALTROW loviey , & Rob De Niro as Magwich very clever thanks soooooooooo much for it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A bland interpretation, 5 Oct 2013
On paper all the ingredients to expect the best - great location, great named actors and one of the world's greatest stories - but it is one of the worst interpretations.

Superficial and often not credible, the script lacked conflict. The acting lacked depth or tension and often incongruous emotions. At times the set looked like a budget theatre.

Like the art depicted, the film felt and looked like painting by numbers.

Very disappointing
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, great compositions, great expectations realised, 6 April 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
I watched this film, not expecting much but came out with a great sense of passion. This heart-rendering tale is told beautifully and superbly acted by an all-star cast. Not to mention the soundtrack which I have to say blew me away and reduced me to tears! The dvd has great visuals and is a real must for any movie lover.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars STOP PRESS!!! Dickens Turns Over in his Grave!!!!, 8 Aug 2008
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This review is from: Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] (DVD)
This is possibly the worst film I have ever seen. I wish I had saved my money. I am giving one star for Anne Bancroft's bravura performance alone as the two leads, Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow are completetly unbelievable, wooden, lacking "chemistry" and are quite vacuous and unengaging. The soundtrack music has got to be the most cringe-inducing load of cheesy kitsch I have heard in a long time. It almost becomes laughable with its obvious, predictable crescendos which underpin the pathetic attempts at portraying,depicting or conveying faux emotion.The director simply has no idea what kind of film he wants to make and the result is a hotch-potch of style and cliche. The biggest crime is in the complete annihilation of the spirit of Dicken's novel. There is no dramatic tension and the liberties which are taken with the basic narrative simply add up to a frustrating, disappointing evening's viewing.I am quite amazed that other reviewers had anything good to say about this turkey. If you want a clear insight into the narrative skill of Charles Dickens then please save your money. Forget this and rent the David Lean version on Blu-Ray instead.
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Great Expectations [DVD] [1998]
Great Expectations [DVD] [1998] by Alfonso Cuarón (DVD - 2002)
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