World Cinema – Feature
GREAT EXPECTATIONS, Mike Newell
UK / 2013 / 128 min / DCP / English
Pip, a 10-year old orphan boy from a working class family, is surprised one winter's day by an escaped convict who demands tools to remove his chains. Terrified, Pip does as he's asked but the convict is ambushed and thrown back into his dreadful prison ship that border the marshes by Pip's home.
A year later, Pip is employed by eccentric Miss Havisham, a local gentlewoman who has lived in seclusion since being abandoned at the altar 30 years ago. Pip is to act as a companion to Miss Havisham's beautiful 12-year-old ward, Estella. Pip falls in love with her and longs to become a gentleman in order to win her back when he's of age. It's a hopeless fantasy. The children part and Pip becomes an apprentice to his kindly brother-in-law Joe, the village blacksmith.
Ten years later, Pip, now a young man, receives the astonishing news that he has been given a huge fortune by an unnamed benefactor and is required to abandon Joe and his humble country life to be educated as a gentleman in London. Astonishingly, his childish hopes are fulfilled and he can now become the sophisticated young man he hoped to be during his childhood days with Estella.
From its very first appearance in his weekly journal ‘All The Year Round’ in December 1860, Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations has proved an enduring work. After boosting sales of the author’s failing magazine to the 100,000 mark, Great Expectations was published in novel form in 1861, going into its fourth edition within weeks of its first printing.
Screenplay: David Nicholls / Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Stephen Wooley / Editor: Tarique Anwar / Cinematographer: John Mathieson / Production Designer: Jim Clay / Costumes: Beatrix Pazsator / Principal Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Ewen Bremer, Sally Hawkins / Contact: Josh Green
THE DIRECTOR: Mike Newell has directed everything from a gritty character-driven British TV drama, to major sword-and-sorcery Hollywood blockbuster. A Cambridge graduate born in St Albans, Newell got his first break as a Granta TV trainee, working his way to directing BAFTA nominated ‘Ready When You are Mr. McGill’ (‘76). Critical success in feature films came with the acclaimed DANCE WITH A STRANGER (‘85), an unflinching, powerful depiction of the life and death of England’s last woman to be sentenced to hanging. In 1994 the Oscar nomination for his iconic comedy, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL established Newell’s directorial prowess in a wide range of material. DONNY BRASCO (‘97) quickly followed, delivering a striking performance from Pacino, and showcasing Newell’s ability to create electric films with an international appeal. Under Newell's command, HARRY POTTER & THE GOBLET OF FIRE, (‘05), considered one of the best films in the series, blended his talent for reaching an international audience with his capacity to visualize decidedly English characters. He even dabbled with new technologies by taking on PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (‘10) and will next shoot the iconic British writer’s, Ian McEwan, novel ON CHESIL BEACH.
The 28th Annual Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival runs Oct 18 - November 11, 2013 in Ft Lauderdale, Hollywood, Sunrise, Pompano Beach and on Grand Bahama Island. The fest moves to Saint Augustine January 16 - 19, 2014. There are over 200 films plus a galaxy of parties, cruises, and special events. Special guests include Ann-Margret, Ed Asner, Tab Hunter, Anna Paquin, Lea Thompson, Aphrodite Jones, Guy Harvey, Jonathan Bird, Pauly Cohen, William Grefe, Jonas Armstrong, Hannah Tointon and Michael Bolton. FLIFF is the Guiness World Record holder for longest in the world.