R&A 13: Great Expectations

2 h 8 min  |  Love&Anarchy  |  Release Date: 22.9.2013

Mike Newell makes a solid case for big-screen presentation with an assured version that’s no less entertaining for being quite conventional. Screenwriter David Nicholls has done a tidy job of distilling the novel into just over two hours with (...) no drastic loss of incident or detail.

A crucial aspect that Newell gets right from the start is cementing the long-range connection between the young orphan Pip (Toby Irvine) and escaped convict Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes), which will shape many of the tale’s key events. Caked in mud and growling in a common-as-muck accent, Fiennes is feral and frightening.

Along with Fiennes’ Magwitch, a touching figure of unexpected integrity and enormous pathos, the film’s other juicy character turn is the Miss Havisham of Helena Bonham Carter. Wearing what looks like an entire Alexander McQueen collection, she’s a goth ghost bride, younger than the usual crone interpretation, but riddled with decay. Bonham Carter reanimates one of classic literature’s greatest inventions as dotty and capricious, yet lucid enough to make calculated mischief and to show heartfelt remorse (...).

David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter


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