This a pretty safe and not wholly memorable adaptation of Great Expectations, or indeed any period drama. As someone with no previous knowledge (or expectations) of the classic, the story of a countryside orphan boy being made a London gentleman by an unknown benefactor seemed novel but I wouldn’t be surprised if those with more exposure might find the lack of spark frustrating. The usually sparkling Helena Bonham-Carter just seems to be trying too hard to give a Helena Bonham-Carter spin on her role as Miss Havisham. Jeremy Irvine at least provides a genial, boyish charm and a believable central performance and it’s all perfectly watchable but you just feel director Mike Newell could have done with making it all a bit more rough around the edges. It’s a great story, perfectly well acted but lacks that extra flair to make you really feel the dirt beneath the fingernails of Magwitch or the madness existing within Miss Havisham.
Review by David Rank
Great Expectations is out on 30th November in the UK. Certificate 12A (UK). Running time 128 mins.
Comments and feedback are always welcome or just give the film a rating by using the stars at the top.