Is it fair to say that an actress as talented as Helena Bonham-Carter was born to play a role? Because I want to say that she was born to play Miss Havisham.
Miss Havisham, as you probably learned in high school or college, is the elderly jilted bride in Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations." The character was abandoned on the day of her wedding -- she learned the news at her dressing table, wearing her gown and having put on just one shoe. Heartbroken, she never moved -- terrifying, wealthy, and malevolent, she sits there so unmoving she is strewn with cobwebs. The character is cartoonish but intimidating, both powerful and mad. Who can do that better than Helena Bonham-Carter?
The trailer for director Mike Newell's new film version of "Great Expectations" shows she's pretty much nailed it, of course. But I'm not sure the rest of the movie measures up.
The story is about the romance between Pip, a poor boy, and Estella, the upper-class adopted daughter of Miss Havisham. There are several plot twists, the main one being that Pip becomes rich thanks to an anonymous benefactor. He tries to groom himself as a gentleman for the lovely Estella, who has been brought up to be exquisitely cruel.
Can Jeremy Irvine bring Pip to life? Has Holliday Grainger's role in "The Borgias" prepped her for Victorian-era nastiness? Does the soundtrack try a little too hard? Does the trailer give away a little too much? Watch and decide.
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