Movie Review: Great Expectations (1998)
“Let desire be your destiny.”
Great Expectations (1998)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Hank Azaria
Synopsis: A modern updating of Charles Dickens’ famous novel.
While Great Expectations dreams up some imaginative interpretations in its updating of Charles Dickens’ novel to modern day America, it seems to go out of its way to make it as sleazy as possible at times. Gwyneth Paltrow (Duets) is the spoiled little girl here, brought up by dotty aunt Anne Bancroft (The Elephant Man, The Sunchaser). Paltrow looks gorgeous, but her collar bones look like they could cut. Despite its radical rethink of the story’s milieu, Great Expectations remains relatively faithful to the plot (as far as I can recall), but all the characters come across as spectacularly dull and/or unlikeable, which in turn makes the film difficult to like. On the plus side it has a good soundtrack, and director Alfonso Cuarón certainly understands the aesthetic qualities of strategically lit rain in the darkness…
(Reviewed 23rd January 2012)