Great Expectations Monday, 16 September 2019

Great Expectations

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    M: Mature themes and violence.

  • The pitch:

    Courteous adaptation of Dickens's gentlemanly classic.

  • Starring:

    Jeremy Irvine, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Flemyng, Ewen Bremner, Holliday Grainger, David Walliams, Olly Alexander, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Toby Irvine, Helena Barlow

  • Directed by:

    Mike Newell

  • Running time:

    128 minutes

  • Rated:

    M (Australia), 12A (UK), PG-13 (USA)


    A filthy man frightens a boy in a cemetery. A man tells a boy that his liver will be roasted and eaten by an angel. A woman canes a man and a boy. A boy steals food and alcohol. People are kicked, punched, slapped, shadow-boxed. Convicts in chains are seen. Armed guards with bayonets and pistols are seen. Mud-fighting men attack each other with punches and a rock. Knives are held to throats. A woman is choked to death. A woman is burnt alive (charred face and hands are seen). A man is almost crushed to death. An injured man dies. A food-fight is seen. A cannon is fired. Murder, robbery, thieving is discussed. Yelling, raised voices are heard. Things get smashed. Blood/gore: Poverty-stricken people with filth and blood on their faces. A bloody nose  and a bloody forehead are seen. A bloody wound is dressed; blood is seen in a dish of water. Meat is butchered in a marketplace; bones, offal, blood, off-cuts and pig heads are seen. Scarred arms are shown.


    A boy kisses a girl on the cheek. A man kisses a woman.


    Alcohol (brandy, wine). Gambling (arm-wrestling). Smoking (pipe).


    B*tch, religious exclamations. People are insulted, mocked.


    Orphans, convicts, benefaction, education, madness, class inequality, climbing the social ladder, isolation, ruin, appropriateness, expectation, jealousy.


    Cold, wintry setting. Cemetery, decaying country house, courtroom settings. Cobwebs are seen. Mice scavenge for food. A young woman reads from the Bible. Prisoners are sentenced to death. Thunder is heard. Live cows, horses, chickens, flocks of birds are seen. Pheasant, partridge, goat, chicken, pork (pie) are eaten. Fur-trimmed coats are worn.


    A reliable adaptation of the original work with an excellent cast. Costume and set design are superb--you can almost smell the bad breath and feel the filth of London's muddy streets. Helena Bonham Carter is petrifying as Miss Havisham. Wonderful story.


    Fairly formulaic. Plays out like a made-for-television drama.

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