Great Expectations to close the 56th BFI London Film Festival
Story by Jack Foley
MIKE Newell’s new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Great Expectations is to close the 56th BFI London Film Festival on Sunday, October 21.
The film, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Jeremy Irvine as Pip, will receive its European Premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square.
David Nicholls, the acclaimed writer of the global best-seller One Day, had adapted the story of young orphan Pip, who is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor.
Moving through London’s class-ridden world as a gentleman, Pip uses his new-found position to pursue the beautiful Estella, a spoilt heiress he’s loved since childhood.
Yet the shocking truth behind this great fortune will have devastating consequences for everything he holds dear.
In addition to the likes of Fiennes and Bonham Carter, the film also boasts an outstanding ensamble featuring Holliday Grainger, Robbie Coltrane, Ewen Bremner, Jason Flemyng, Sally Hawkins, David Walliams and Tamzin Outhwaite.
Newell, meanwhile, is the BAFTA-winning director of Four Weddings and A Funeral and Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire.
The film will be released by Lionsgate on November 30, 2012 in the UK.
Commenting on her first choice of closing film, Clare Stewart, BFI Head of Exhibition, said: “Visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy, this new adaptation of the classic novel, directed by Mike Newell, provides a fitting conclusion to both the 56th BFI London Film Festival and London’s bicentenary celebrations of the life and work of Charles Dickens.
“David Nicholls’ splendid script has an acute respect for the complexities of Dickens’ original text and gives plenty of scope to the film’s rising stars – Jeremy Irvine (Pip) and Holliday Grainger (Estella) – along with some of the UK’s finest acting talent, including compelling performances from Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham.”
Director Mike Newell adds: “It’s a great honour to be invited to be the BFI London Film Festival’s Closing Night film. I’m proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bi-centenary of Dickens’ birth.
“I’ve tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens’ darkest-shadowed stories.
“I’ve tried to make a film for a young modern audience in which Pip and Estella’s fated love affair is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad.”
Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Mike Newell are expected to attend the Festival.
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