Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Great Expectations for Helena Bonham Carter

Oh, Helena, you've done it again. Despite the fact that Helena Bonham Carter has showed up at some Red Carpets looking almost as wild, I have to hand it to her. 



She looks stunning here in the first production stills from Great Expectations. All decked out as Miss Havisham, 
famously left at the altar and waiting a lifetime for her love's return in Mike Newell's production.  It's just so Helena! Does she ever look ordinary? As close as I can recall her looking close to normal in recent memory was in last years' The King's  Speech

But check her out as Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies, the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland, and Mrs.Lovett in Sweeney Todd.  She is just tailor made for period films.  And without a stitch of vanity. Which is why I'm looking forward to seeing her as Miss Havisham in Great Expectations. In the novel, the story centers on Pip, the orphan who falls head over heels with Miss Havisham's niece Estella before taking off on  his madcap adventures. On the homefront though, it's Miss Havisham, frozen in time who is the heart of the story. I am so looking forward not only to Helena Bonham Carter but also to Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, and Robbie Coltrane, that big, marvelous character actor who Americans know best as Hagrid in the Potter movies. 

Brits though, may know him best from the telly as Fitz (Dr. Eddie Fitzgerald) on the Cracker tv show - a show I remember watching. It must have been on PBS so I suppose Americans may remember him from that too. So good. And I adore his voice. 

The newest addition to the cast is Jeremy Ivine who stars in Stephen Spielberg's War Horse due out this December. He plays Pip and his Estella is played by the luminous Holliday Grainger. Among her credits is a pilot for the tv show Bad Mother's Handbook. My husband worked as an AD on the show and was disappointed it wasn't picked up but says he doesn't remember her. Or at least he says he doesn't but then he's the kind of man who tells me that all the women he works with are fat and unattractive. Except for when he worked on the Charlie's Angels movies; he knew I wouldn't buy that about Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu!
This film, shooting now, is just the most recent among a slew of movies based on Great Expectations; the great expectation is that while this adaptation will stir up no less of a fuss, it may also stir the hearts of the Oscar voters.  No one seems to be able to agree on the "best" one and the one that Dickens himself would have approved of. Seems to me, no matter how marvelous the material, no matter how closely the writer, David Nicholls has stuck to the book, this version surely can't please everyone. BUT with Bonham Carter et al on board, I'm pretty excited to see them try.
Source: The Daily Mail

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