Great Expectations, Great Expectations MovieReview, Movie Review, Rilm Review
Michael A. Maynez  photo

"Great Expectations", Pre-Preview

Alfonso Cuarón's, the Mexican director, vision of Charles Dickens, great novel, which has been filmed several times, and once flawlessly and faithfully by that great master, David Lean, leans heavily on the fact that his is really an elaboration and not a remake of previous films.

Mitch Glazer has created a modern day script with "Great Expectations" that follows incidents from Florida to New York and that Pip's name has been changed to Finn. Clearly some of Dickens does not translate well in today's society, such as class differences and the mores of the Victorian. However his desire to take control of his life, and as Ethan Hawke quotes of character and story, "Finn is a totally vacuous kid who only wants to score with a totally vacuous woman, and that's a weird story to tell", end of quote. It certainly simplifies the Charles Dickens story line.

The beauteous Gwyneth Paltrow, plays the icy aristocrat. With Robert De Niro as a convict who befriends Hawke. The surprise of the piece is Anne Bancroft, as she does a take off on the character Miss Havisham, as Dinsmoor, the jilted bride frozen in time. It is a bit much as she dances to "Besame Mucho", undoubtedly the influence of the director's predilection for this song. David Mamet who is credited as writing some of the narration, so as to really be more of elaboration succeeds.

Someone at Twentieth Century Fox had the smarts to pull this film from this year's Oscar entries, as the competition got hot and heavy towards the end of l997, so instead of releasing in the month of December as originally planned, they have opted for the last part of January 1998. This will be a watch and see game. So much for modern remakes.

Great Expectations
20th Century Fox
Produced by: Art Linson
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
With: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert De Niro, Anne Bancroft, Hank Azaria, Raquel Beaudene, Jeremy Kissner, Chris Cooper, Chuck Dowling, Kim Dickens
Written by: Mitch Glazer
Director of photography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Based on a novel by Charles Dickens
Rated: R
Release: 30 Jan 1998

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Original Date Friday 2 January 1998
Updated Monday 9 February 1998