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Newell's 'Great Expectations' with Bonham-Carter, Irvine & Fiennes Will Close BFI London Film Festival

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood August 30, 2012 at 11:17AM

Mike Newell's "Great Expectations" will close the 56th BFI London Film Festival on October 21. Adapted by David Nicholls, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irvine and Holliday Grainger...
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Great Expectations, Helena

Mike Newell's "Great Expectations" will close the 56th BFI London Film Festival on October 21. Adapted by David Nicholls, the film stars Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams and Tamzin Outhwaite.

The Brit director ("Four Weddings and A Funeral," "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire") states;

"I'm proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bi-centenary of [author Charles] Dickens' birth. I've tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens' darkest-shadowed stories."

Newell also notes that he tried to make this film for young, modern audiences, where the central love affair "is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad.” In her first year as BFI festival director, Clare Stewart calls the film “visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy."

There have been several film and TV adaptations; some of the latest include 2011's BBC miniseries with Ray Winstone, Gillian Anderson and Douglas Booth and Alfonso Cuaron's 1998 version with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke. Do we need (or want?) another version of this Dickens classic?

Lionsgate will release "Great Expectations" in the UK on November 30. Watch a trailer here. BFI opens with Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" on October 10.
 

This article is related to: BFI, Festivals, Classics, Books, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.