This was the official website for the 2012 film adaptation of Great Expectations, the celebrated Charles Dickens novel where a humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor. The website has been restored and archived for use in Brew Shandy's New Media course. This, along with several other sites on the reading list, are required reading for students taking his course. Mr. Shandy acquired a reputation as a marketing genius for his award winning efforts to promote a number of small service businesses including a motorcycle repair service in Pittsburgh, a fly fishing guide in Utah, and a carpet cleaning New York City service - this last one won a Neuvo Mode blue ribbon. The focus of the seminars is the impact of the internet on contemporary arts and culture. The complete syllabus is available on the school's New Media webpage.
Content is from the site's archived pages as well as from other sources.
Great Expectations Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Helena Bonham Carter Movie
TOMATOMETER CRITICS 65% | AUDIENCE 49%
By COLIN COVERT Star Tribune NOVEMBER 14, 2013 Great Expectations
â‹†â‹† out of four star
Rated: PG-13 for some violence including disturbing images.
With its prestigious literary roots and casting coups (Ralph Fiennes as scary Magwitch! Helena Bonham Carter as dotty/evil Miss Havisham!), the anticipation for “Great Expectations” was, well, great. The film itself feels like it’s only halfway there, a dress rehearsal for a better version. Directed with the best of intentions by Mike Newell (“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”), it’s a respectful, restrained adaptation of the riotously inventive Charles Dickens, whose grab-bag novels teem with wild characters and mad events yoked together by force.
Newell gives us a tepid rundown of the ups and downs and ups of Pip, a rustic blacksmith’s boy elevated to London gentility through a mysterious endowment. Sometimes Newell’s images are fresh. The graveyard where Pip fatefully encounters the escaped convict Magwitch is not a dim horror set but a sunny country churchyard. The fine apartment Pip occupies in his snooty big-city adulthood is painted a garish shade of lavender that sums up the empty frivolity of upper-class life in the capital.
Pip is a reactive character, maneuvered through life like a marionette by multiple guardians, some malign, others well-intentioned. Played as an adult by Jeremy Irvine (“The War Horse”), he’s a wishy-washy, anemic fellow, especially compared with some of the electric supporting players. Bonham Carter is sardonic and more than a little demented as the mad spinster Miss Havisham, reviving a character usually played as a stock hag. Robbie Coltrane gives the scheming lawyer Jaggers a shifty intelligence and a soothing Orson Welles speaking voice, the better to sedate his victims. Olly Alexander has such fun as Pip’s friend Herbert Pocket, a kindhearted twit, he seems to be holding his laughter inside.
The crucial central roles go wanting. Fiennes, as Magwitch, adopts a Cockney growl and observes Pip with intense, searching eyes, but doesn’t create a character. As Miss Havisham’s ice-cold adoptive daughter Estella, Holliday Granger is defeated by an ambivalent, emotionally inconsistent character that must be as baffling to actresses as she is to readers. Her plastic beauty is emblematic of a handsomely composed but hollow film desperately in need of flamboyant circus energy.
Review: Rich 'Great Expectations' nevertheless under-delivers
By BY ANNLEE ELLINGSON
NOV 09, 2013
Mike Newell, whose eclectic career has ranged from "Four Weddings and a Funeral" to "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," has given us a classic adaptation of Charles Dickens' beloved bildungsroman "Great Expectations." It is skillfully made and adeptly performed; even so it doesn't really add anything to the canon.
That canon includes roughly 15 film versions of the tale that follows an apprentice blacksmith as he navigates the transition from poor village orphan to sponsored London gentleman.
Everyone knows the story: While being raised by his wicked sister (Sally Hawkins) and kindly brother-in-law Joe (Jason Flemyng), young Pip is conscripted by the eccentric heiress Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter) to entertain her adopted daughter, Estella. Miss Havisham herself is ghostly, an apparition, with chalky skin and wild gray hair, dressed in the rags of her wedding gown.
Through the eyes of production designer Jim Clay, her estate is a time warp where all the clocks stopped at 20 minutes to 9, dust motes curling in the weak sunbeams that leak in to weakly illuminate layers of decay. In this space, and in the story, nothing can be seen clearly, obscured by shadows, veils and mottled mirrors.
Pip falls in love with the coldly beautiful Estella, of course, and is granted the chance to woo her when, years later, he's whisked off to London by a mysterious wealthy benefactor to become a gentleman. Pip (Jeremy Irvine) swiftly divests himself of his modest upbringing but is appalled to learn who's been footing his bills and that he wasn't necessarily meant for Estella (Holliday Grainger) after all.
Fresh-faced Irvine, recently seen in Steven Spielberg's "War Horse," and Grainger, with frequent appearances on British television, bring little baggage to distract from their fine performances. But they're also surrounded by stellar talent in the tale's iconic supporting parts, including Bonham Carter as the ravaged Havisham, Ralph Fiennes as an escaped convict whom Pip aids early on and Robbie Coltrane as the lawyer who serves as Pip's guardian when he comes into money.
Screenwriter David Nicholls crams hundreds of pages of child abuse and unrequited love, betrayal and revenge, identity and class into just over two hours by making judicious trims to Dickens' prodigious plot. But the film still feels rushed toward the end as the characters' intertwined backstories are revealed through exposition and distorted flashbacks.
A perfectly fine adaptation of a timeless novel, "Great Expectations" doesn't quite meet the promise of its title.
Do We Need New ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘Great Expectations’ Film Adaptations?
Features By Kate Erbland on September 19, 2013
Do we need new Great Expectations film adaptations? In a word – sort of. This fall brings a new film adaptation of this classic work of drama and romance and seriously funny character names (Havisham? Come on), just in time for high school students the world over to have a shiny new version of their assigned reading to watch on the big screen (sorry, books). Mike Newell tackles Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” with his new take on the enduring novel, a “faithful” adaptation of the 1860 book about terrible, terrible, just terrible people and the havoc that class warfare can wreck on young love, which is set to hit theaters in November.
Curiously, “Great Expectations” has been the subject of fewer straightforward film adaptations than you might expect – only seven over a period of about one hundred years, with only a handful of them serving as faithful takes on the novel. (Remember Alfonso Cuarón’s 1998 version? The modern one starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow?) The version considered the gold standard is now sixty-seven-years-old, as David Lean’s 1946 take on the material has long been considered the best of the bunch.
So does that mean there’s room for a new one? Maybe – especially one that seems so true to the material as Newell’s production. Dickens’ novel is a thorny one, packed with some seriously overwrought drama (what, this criminal gave money? No, that nutty woman in a wedding dress is evil? Shocking!), but underneath all its bad personalities and bad situations is wicked, wonderful writing. Done well, a Great Expectations film can hit all the notes of Dickens’ novel, and the machinations of the book’s storyline can be so convoluted that a finely tuned visual companion can only help. (No, we’re not advocating the use of films instead of books here, but taken together, a fuller understanding is possible).
The problem, of course, is that Newell’s production, starring Jeremy Irvine, Holliday Grainger,Ralph Fiennes, and Helena Bonham Carter looks too true to the page, and thus just sort of flaccid. Sure, bringing a novel to life is a fine aim – but you have to actually bring things to life when you do it. The film has been hailed for solid acting, impeccable sets, and exploring a wide range of subplots, however, so perhaps it will serve its purpose and both entertain and enlighten all those massive Dickens fans chomping for a new film. While we’re not exactly heavily anticipating the film, we are interested in getting a refresher on the book.
Helena Bonham Carter
British actress Helena Bonham Carter has lent her talents to a wide array of diverse feature films such as David Fincher's provocative Fight Club, Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination and an Evening Standard Best Actress Award and the dark comedy Novocaine, directed by David Atkins. In 2011 Helena starred as Queen Elizabeth in the Academy Award and BAFTA winning film The Kings Speech for which she personally received Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations, she went on to win the BAFTA.
Ralph Fiennes studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and won his first role immediately after graduating when he appeared in two productions of Shakespeare at the Open Air Theatre in London's Regent's Park.
In 1988 he was invited to join the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company for whom he subsequently played Henry VI, Edmund in 'King Lear' and Berowne in 'Love's Labour's Lost'.
His first film role was as Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights which brought him to the attention of Steven Spielberg who cast him as the Nazi officer Amon Goeth in Schindler's List for which he was awarded a BAFTA, Award, the New York Critics' Best Supporting Actor, the London Film Critics' Best Actor and the National Society of Film Critics award but was also nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
Holliday first garnered attention when she took on the role of 'Emily' in The Scouting Book for Boys, a film previewed to critical acclaim at the London Film Festival and winning its writer, Jack Thorne, the award for Best British Newcomer at the awards. In the same year, she played the role of 'Mollie' in Pat Holden's feature Away Days written by Kevin Sampson and starring Stephen Graham.
She has since been seen in the much lauded adaptation by Moira Buffini of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre alongside a stellar cast including Dame Judi Dench, Jamie Bell, Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender. Further projects include Bel Ami opposite Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman and Kristin Scott Thomas, and she is the the lead role of 'Lucrezia Borgia' in 'The Borgias'.
Jeremy Irvine studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and has appeared in stage productions including the Royal Shakespeare Company's 'Dunsinane'.
Irvine made his feature film debut starring in the highly acclaimed film War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg.
Irvine has recently been seen in the independent feature Now is Good opposite Dakota Fanning, who plays a teenage girl with a terminal illness who resolves to live her life on fast forward. The film, based on Jenny Downham's novel Before I Die, is directed by Ol Parker.
He starred in The Railway Man opposite Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman which is based on a memoir by Eric Lomax that chronicles his experience working on Japan's Death Railway during World War II. Irvine will play the young Lomax in the film.
Irvine recently wrapped production in A Night in Old Mexico and The World Made Straight and will be soon starting two new projects, Fallen and The Reach.
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' (ITV 1976). Critical success in feature films came with the acclaimed Dance With A Stranger (1985), 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 (1997) 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, (2005), considered one of the best films in the series, blended his talent for reaching an international audience with his capacity to visualise decidedly English characters. He even dabbled with new technologies by taking on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) and will next shoot the iconic British writer's, Ian McEwan, novel On Chesil Beach. He is getting ready to film Reykjavik with Christopher Waltz, Michael Douglas, and Frank Langella.
Born in 1966 in Eastleigh, Hampshire. David attended Toynbee Comprehensive school, and attended Barton Peveril Sixth Form College, before going to the University of Bristol in 1985 to study English Literature and Drama.
Having graduated, and keen to pursue a career as an actor, he won a scholarship to study at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York, before returning to London in 1991. There he worked in a number of bars and restaurants before finally earning an Equity card. He worked sporadically as an actor for the next eight years, appearing in plays at Battersea Arts Centre, the Finborough, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep. In between jobs he worked as a bookseller at Waterstones, Notting Hill.
A three year stint at the Royal National Theatre followed, understudying and playing small parts in, amongst others, 'Arcadia', 'Machinal', 'Inadmissible Evidence' and 'The Seagull'. During this period, he began to read plays and film scripts as a freelance reader, before taking a job at BBC Radio Drama as a script reader/researcher. This led to script-editing jobs at London Weekend Television and Tiger Aspect Productions.
During this period, he began to write, developing an adaptation of Sam Shepard's stage-play 'Simpatico' with the director Matthew Warchus, an old friend from University. He also wrote his first original script, a situation comedy about frustrated waiters, 'Waiting', which was later optioned by the BBC.
Simpatico was turned into a feature film in 1999, starring Sharon Stone, Catherine Keener, Jeff Bridges, Nick Nolte and Albert Finney. This allowed David to start writing full-time, and his first TV production followed soon afterwards; 'I Saw You', a one-off romantic-comedy starring Paul Rhys and Fay Ripley, which won best single play at the annual BANFF television festival. Four episodes of 'Cold Feet' followed, and since then David has written for film and TV as well as fiction. He has been twice nominated for BAFTA awards and his first novel, Starter for 10 was featured on the first Richard and Judy Book Club.
David's TV credits include an updated version of 'Much Ado About Nothing', with Damian Lewis and Sarah Parrish (BAFTA nominated - Best Single Play) and the one-off play 'After Sun', starring Peter Capaldi and Sarah Parrish. An acclaimed adaptation of 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' followed, starring Gemma Arterton, Eddie Redmayne, Hans Matheson and Jodie Whittaker.
In fiction, he has written three novels, Starter for Ten, The Understudy and One Day. In film, Simpatico was followed by the movie version of Starter for Ten, directed by Tom Vaughan, with James MacAvoy and Rebecca Hall, and an adaptation of Blake Morrison's memoir And When Did You Last See Your Father? directed by Anand Tucker, and starring Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent and Julie Stevenson. The feature film version of One Day, directed by Lone Scherfig, starred Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Romola Garai, Rafe Spall, Jodie Whittaker, Ken Stott and Patricia Clarkson.
At present, David is writing his fourth novel and in the process of filming his script, Far from the Madding Crowd.
David lives in North London with his partner Hannah and two children.
Director of Photography
Mathieson is an award winning Director of Photography. Nominated for 2 Academy Awards, he has won countless awards for Ridley Scott's Gladiator including a BAFTA and a Critics Choice Award at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards. For Phantom of the Opera, Mathieson won a British Society of Cinematographers Award, a San Diego Film Critics Society Award and was nominated for a Satellite Award. He has worked with highly acclaimed filmmakers most notably Ridley Scott on numerous films including Robin Hood, Kingdom of Heaven, Hannibal, Matchstick Men and Gladiator. Other projects include Baillie Walsh's Flashbacks of a Fool, Joel Schumacher's Phantom of the Opera, Matthew Vaughn's X-Men First Class, Rowan Joffe's Brighton Rock and John Landis' Burke & Hare. His most recent projects are Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin and Guy Ritchie's The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Jim Clay is an award winning production designer having won 2 BAFTAs for Alfonso Cuaron's The Children of Men and 'Christabel'. He has also been nominated for an Art Director Guild Award for The Children of Men, and a RTS and BAFTA for ‘The Singing Detective'. With a career spanning 30 years, he has worked with many great directors including John Madden on The Debt, Richard Eyre on Stage Beauty, Neil Jordan on The Crying Game, Woody Allen on several films including Match Point and You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and Jon Amiel on Copy Cat, Queen of Hearts and Aunt Julia & the Scriptwriter. He has also worked extensively with Working Title on projects such as Love Actually, About a Boy and Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Presently, he has finished production design on Red 2 and Closed Circuit.
Beatrix Pastor is an award winning costume designer who, in a career running over 2 decades, has created some of the most iconic costumes of our time. She has repeatedly worked with Gus Van Sant on the likes of Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, To Die For, Psycho, Even Cowgirls get the Blues and Good Will Hunting. She has also worked on Jane Campion's In the Cut, Joel Schumacher's Bad Company, Nick Cassavetes' John Q, Curtis Hanson's Wonder Boys and Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King. She has collaborated on Johnny English Reborn, Ironclad, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and The Brothers Bloom. She has finished working on Red 2 with fellow co-worker Jim Clay.