Here’s another ‘Great Expectations’, about five minutes after the last telly adaptation. What marks out director Mike Newell and writer David Nicholls’s version is its impeccable acting. Helena Bonham Carter has taken some stick for her eccentric Miss Havisham, but she’s spot-on: rather than do witchy (and let’s face it, the temptation to go a bit Bellatrix Lestrange must have been huge), she makes Miss Havisham a spoilt little rich girl frozen in time. All these years since she was jilted, she’s still in her wedding dress and still the petulant princess – now spitefully plotting revenge on men with Estella (Holliday Grainger) as her weapon. The film zeroes in on the love story between Estella and blacksmith’s boy Pip (played by handsome Jeremy Irvine from ‘War Horse’), an angle oddly muted in many versions. It’s what makes this a worthy addition to the heap of adaptations (none of which can hold a candle to David Lean’s 1946 film) – that, and how movingly it shows young Pip as a young man all at sea without a dad.
Cast and crew
Helena Bonham Carter