Sunday, April 13, 2014

Video review: "Great Expectations"

I know, I know … you’re thinking to yourself, why should I care about the (seemingly) 3,074th version they’ve made of “Great Expectations” for film or television?

Short answer: because the new version that came out at the end of last year is one of the most emotionally engaging adaptations of a Charles Dickens’ novel I’ve ever seen.

You may not even be aware of this iteration, directed by Pete Newell (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) and starring an impressive cast, including Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Coltrane and Holliday Grainger. It didn’t get much traction, barely making it into U.S. theaters.

But this may just be the best film of 2013 that nobody saw. Fiennes and Bonham Carter both deserved Oscar nominations for their fine, vibrant performances.

You know the story: a young penniless orphan (Irvine) is given an inheritance and an introduction into London society by an anonymous benefactor. He makes a mush of it, squandering his fortune and falling for a chilly, distant girl protected by her brittle ward, Miss Havisham (Bonham Carter).

Dickens himself felt that “Great Expectations” was his greatest work, but previous movie versions have tended to be stilted and unapproachable. Give this one a chance, and you won’t find yourself disappointed.

Extra features include deleted scenes, a making-of featurettes, photo gallery and more.




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