Starring: Gillian Anderson , Douglas Booth , David Suchet
Directed by: Brian Kirk
Produced by: Rebecca Eaton
Written by: Charles Dickens
Return to early 19th-century England and fall in love all over again with orphan Pip (Daniel Booth, The Pillars of the Earth) as he finds his way in the world. You'll be riveted anew by Dickens' sweeping tale of social class, crime and ambition. A lush, three-part BBC mini-series starring Gillian Anderson (Bleak House) as Miss Havisham, David Suchet (Poirot) and Ray Winstone (Hugo). As seen on Masterpiece.
Young Orphan Pip wants no more from life than to one-day join his brother-in-law Joe at the blacksmith’s forge. Until, that is, fate intervenes—twice. First, an escaped convict (Winstone) ambushes Pip in the marches; and not long after, a wealthy, reclusive neighbor at the macabre Satis House—Miss Havisham (Anderson)—seeks Pip out as a playmate for her adopted daughter, Estella.
Pip falls almost instantly in love with Estella, and realizes that he needs to be more than a simple blacksmith’s apprentice if he ever hopes to win her. But Miss Havisham—a bride-to-be who was jilted at the alter years ago and still wears her wedding dress amidst the almost fossilized ruins of her wedding feast—has gone to great lengths to ensure that Estella will never so much as risk heartbreak, raising her more as a tool for vengeance than a child.
But when Pip is mysteriously plucked from obscurity and lured to London by an anonymous benefactor hoping to make a gentleman out of him, he suddenly has unlimited wealth at his disposal—and true love in his future. Or so he thinks.
This was one of my favorite adaptations of Great Expectations. But viewers, especially those who expect movies to hold strictly to the books, needs to remember that this is someone’s adaptation of the novel and while there are certain elements that have been left out or added to enhance the flow of the movie I feel that it captures the essence of Dickens’ novel.
The cinematography was brilliant and truly gave it that gothic feel that the novel has. I also felt that they did an amazing job at brining the scenes described by Dickens alive. The actors were spot on and I must applaud Gillian Anderson on her haunting portrayal of Miss Havisham, which will forever be embedded in my mind.
“I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone.”
*Chapter 7, Great Expectations*
While some may feel that you cannot cram all of Great Expectations into roughly 3 hours, I felt that this adaptation was amazing. I believe that fans of the novel will find it well worth their time to give this edition a go.
“The most prominent object was a long table with a tablecloth spread on it, as if a feast had been in preparation when the house and the clocks stopped together. An epergne or centrepiece of some kind was in the middle of this cloth; it was so heavily overhung with cobwebs that its form was quite undistinguishable; and, as I looked along the yellow expanse out of which I remember its seeming to grow, like a black fungus, I saw speckled-legged spiders with blotchy bodies running home to it, and running out from it, as if some circumstance of the greatest public importance had just transpired in the spider community.”
*Chapter 11, Great Expectations*HERE
I would like to thank BBC America Shop for this review copy.
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