Film fans and stars took to the red carpet on Sunday 21st October for the BFI’s glittering closing gala at London’s Odeon Leicester Square featuring the European Premiere of Great Expectations.
With a stellar cast showcasing Britain’s next generation of acting royalty, this home grown remake of the Dickens classic was a fitting conclusion to the London Film Festival 2012. David Lean’s 1946 version, starring John Mills, is viewed by some as one of the most perfect films ever made and there have been numerous TV and film adaptions since. The challenge for any director taking on the costume drama was therefore to bring something new and fresh to the Big Screen. Director Michael Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), however, draws on the rich tones and production values we see in Potter, reuniting some of the franchise’s stars Helena Bonham Carter (Miss Haversham), Ralph Fiennes (Magwitch) and Robbie Coltrane (Jaggers). This production style, combined with strong comedic performances from a supporting cast, including the superbly Pumblechookian David Walliams, delivers a movie that encapsulates the very best of Dickensian characterisation and spirit in a real, but raw environs. Jason Flemyng is likeable as the kind, but modest blacksmith Joe Gargery, who reminds Pip of his lowly origins as his city life of a gentleman distances him from those who brought him up.