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Great Expectations [DVD] 
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Get swept away with this beautiful adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel starring Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2), Ralph Fiennes (Skyfall), Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Holliday Grainger (Anna Karenina), Robbie Coltrane (Arthur Christmas) and David Walliams (Little Britain). Directed by BAFTA Award-winning Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), this is a stunning re-telling of the classic tale.
Young orphan Pip (Jeremy Irvine) is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor. Moving through London’s class ridden world as a gentleman, Pip uses his new found position to pursue the beautiful Estella (Holliday Grainger); a spoilt heiress he’s loved since childhood. Yet the shocking truth behind his great fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear.
Appreciating that Charles Dickens' Great Expectations is a text that's been adapted for the screen several times, not least in an acclaimed modern day BBC adaptation, it's easy to approach Mike Newell's lavish big screen take on the material with some suspicion. What part of the story, after all, is left to tell? Credit to Newell and his team then that he finds so much to have fun with here, by focusing so tightly on the narrative core. His Great Expectations may be no match for David Lean's, for example, but there's still plenty to enjoy here.
Newell takes a traditional approach to the novel, choosing to tell a classic story straight. His strategy pretty much pays off too, with a substantive cast adding gravitas to an already-impressive production. The likes of Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham-Carter and Jeremy Irvine are all on good form, and there are successful appearances from Robbie Coltrane and David Walliams too.
The biggest criticism of the film? That it chooses traditional over adventure, but conversely, that's just the way many are going to like it. This is a well-told take on Great Expectations, with sumptuous production values and plenty to enjoy. It might leave the gimmicks to the side, but that's certainly no reason to overlook it. A few more extras on the disc though wouldn't hurt... --Jon Foster
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Top Customer Reviews
That `fortune' is the news that he is to be made into a `gentleman' and go off to London to learn how to loaf about the place, being of absolutely no practical use to society, but also be able to spend great wads of cash with the ease of an incontinent passing water and he takes to being a profligate toff like a tramp to park benches. This he manages with the help of a portly lawyer, Mr Jaggers in the shape of Hogwarts beard specialist, Robbie Coltrane. This being Dickens though, we all know that tragedy, joy and ridiculous coincidences are never too far away.
This is the ninth adaptation of the classic novel, the first being 1934, the best being David Lean's version from 1946, with four made for television efforts, so it does beg the question, why make it again especially as one was made in 2011? I think the answer is this will go down a treat at Christmas and can be presented as a `new' adaptation with an `all star cast'. This is a new adaptation as the Bentley Drummle character and `the Finches' get a lot of prominence and Miss Havisham is played down, in my opinion a bit too much.Read more ›
This DVD version of Great Expectations is useful for a student, including those still at school, and is quite satisfying for fans of Charles Dickens. If you've never seen any version, nor read the book, it's a faithful and enjoyable watch.
I also felt it was a bit comical in parts which I didn't think it appropriate, though there is humour in the story of course, it just doesn't feel like this screenplay does it in the right parts.
A resonable effort as a movie in its own right with a stellar cast, but I think the adaptation lets it down and left me feeling flat.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good film - mostly quite faithful to the novel. Performances seem pretty good in my view but I recognise this may not be everyone's opinion. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Bill Crawford
Fantastic Modern Cast Actors remaking the timeless Classic Film. Yes I recommend this item.Published 4 months ago by Devonian.
We watched this as the grandson is reading the book for his GCSE, and the film was very well done and quite helpful.Published 5 months ago by poppy
Perfect thanks. Arrived in time for my teacher daughter to show it to her Y11 classesPublished 7 months ago by Toodie
I enjoyed it. It hasn't received good reviews but I enjoyed watching.Published 12 months ago by Ron
Of a similar standard to the 'Gillian Anderson' BBC version. All the main characters are excellently rendered, but with a few little alterations to the plot and with Pip's... Read morePublished 13 months ago by 'Fountain Pen'