Great Expectations (2013) 2013 PG-13 CC

(70) IMDb 6.4/10
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From the director of Four Weddings And A Funeral comes this absorbing adaptation of Charles Dickens' beloved novel starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.

Toby Irvine, Ralph Fiennes
2 hours, 9 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Mike Newell
Starring Toby Irvine, Ralph Fiennes
Supporting actors Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, William Ellis, David Walliams, Bernice Stegers, Tim Freeman, Alan Rushton, Sheila Simpson, Ralph Ineson, Steve Morphew, Helena Barlow, Richard James, Roberta Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Bebe Cave, Pooky Quesnel, Kate Lock, Robbie Coltrane
Studio Fox
MPAA rating PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
I considered fewer stars, but this is a very worthy production on it's own. See comparisons to other recent versions ***with links*** near the bottom of this review.

This adaptation is chock full of well known actors and wonderful performances. The production values are outstanding and the setting is true period (not a re-imagining). In fact, this edition may become some peoples' favorite version. However, I felt it lacked that final spark to make it a true classic. I suggest a rental first and try other recent adaptations below.

FIRST THE EXCELLENT. The actor playing Pip is terrific and I am glad they didn't simply try to find the most famous name they could cast. This is a reasonably faithful adaptation for purists and that may sway you to this production over others. Much original dialog is used, yet a more natural voice of cinematic acting is employed rather than a melodramatic stage acting style. Still, very Dickensian though. Jason Flemyng, as the blacksmith that raises Pip, proves he is more than just a role player and I felt he was truly outstanding and sympathetic. This version as a whole was really fantastic at portraying the mood of Pip's transformation, his embarrassment with his previous life and friends, as well as his realization/reconciliation later. I also really liked that this version deftly defines the very moment where Pip charms Ms. Havisham as a boy, and unknowingly saves himself from a fate reserved for another, meaner gentleman.

NOW THE LESS GOOD. The movie had so many elements that could make it a true classic. However, it fails to flesh out Ms. Havisham and Estella. The movie feels long, yet still too short to make you care about characters necessary to draw the viewer in.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By M. Secaur on November 23, 2013
Format: DVD
As someone who loves Charles Dickens and the work of director Mike Newell, I have been eagerly anticipating this film since its release in England last fall. I was fortunate enough to attend its Arizona premiere at the Scottsdale International Film Festival on October 7th, and I have to say that all my anticipation was well justified. It is more than just a good film or a faithful adaptation of one of the 19th century's greatest novels; it is a masterpiece.

I can't understand why so many reviews, both from critics and the public alike, are so negative. It is a good watch whether you've read the novel or not. Literary purists will enjoy it for the fact that it stays so close to the book, and casual film buffs will appreciate that the twisting Dickensian plot is made comprehensible enough so that they can follow along as well. Having watched other adaptations including the much-lauded 1946 Lean film version, which was, incidentally, the last time this story made it to the silver screen, others pale in comparison. There is not a thing about it that I would change or want any different. It is probably the best film I've seen all year.

Hats off to screenwriter David Nicholls, who manages to successfully translate a 450+ page novel into the perfect 2-hour film. He kept it to just the right length--long enough to avoid feeling butchered, but short enough so that things weren't dragged out longer than necessary. The pacing was good, and I never felt like something had been "cut out", a rare feeling in a production like this. The preservation of Dickens' own dialogue and his occasional touches of humor lends an authenticity rarely felt in adaptations of his work (ref. BBC's disastrous 3-hour miniseries).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 20, 2014
Format: DVD
Director Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Donnie Brasco, Harry Potter, Love n the Time of Cholera, Mona Lisa Smile, Enchanted April, etc) joins with creative screenwriter David Nicholls (When Did You Last See Your Father?, One Day, Starter for 10, Tess of the D'Urbervilles) and a cast and crew of enormous talent and delivers what in this viewer's opinion is the finest version of GREAT EXPECTATIONS on film. Few explorations of this complicated, dense novel by Charles Dickens manage to make every character wholly credible - no absolute villains or absolute heroes here, just a range of behavior throughout the spectrum that makes every character beautifully defined, making the intricate story wholly comprehensible.

The story is soften told that the plot is well known - though never as fully realized as in this beautifully photographed (John Mathieson) and scored (Richard Hartley) version. Pip as a lad (Toby Irvine, Jeremy Irvine's younger brother) is terrified by an encounter with escaped convict Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes) and befriends him - a significant moment in the story. The young orphan Pip is kept by blacksmith Joe Gargery (Jason Flemyng) and his horrid wife (Sally Hawkins) until he is engaged by the strange Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter) in her strangely creepy house to play with her `daughter' Estella (Helena Barlow). In rather rapid sequence the adult Pip (now Jeremy Irvine) inherits a fortune from an anonymous benefactor, his future seems promising. Estella (now Holliday Grainger) seems bent on a different life than one with the obviously infatuated Pip. Pip is off to London, becomes a wealthy gentleman, still pines for Estella, is supervised by Jaggers (Robbie Coltrane) until a series of secrets surface and the story proceeds to its complex conclusion.
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