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WHAT THE DICKENS? Set expectations very low for remake of a classic.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS 129mins 12A OF all the Charles Dickens novels adapted for film, David Lean's 1946 inventive take on Great Expectations is widely, and quite rightly, saluted as the very's t.

Not only did it lift three Oscars, but time and again it has been hailed as one of the finest British movies ever made.

Similar praise is unlikely to be heaped on this retelling, which manages the Olympian feat of turning the greatest coming-of-age story ever into a bore. It's like a dream from which you keep waking with indigestion.

Toby Irvine is the low-born Pip who's employed by eccentric, wealthy, jilted bride Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter) to befriend her adopted daughter, Estella.

This comes right after his TERRIFYING encounter on the Kent marshes with Ralph Fiennes' escaped convict, Magwitch.

Fast forward a few years to the early 19th century and Pip (now played by Toby's older brother Jeremy) moves to London to become a gentleman on a secret stipend from the wealthy oddball. He meets and falls for Estella (Holliday Grainger), though her heart belongs to another.

If you're going to tell a story that has already been told so well, it's best to bring something new to the table, but this doesn't.

At every turn it is hampered by a distinct lack of flair in the narrative structure.

Lumbering like an arthritic hippopotamus from one scene to the next, it's Dickens as told to you by the pub bore: "So, this happens and then that happens, and then..."

Despite all that's wrong, at least it looks good, especially when we venture into Satis House to witness Miss Havisham presiding over a table creaking with crumbling, cobwebby wedding cake.

Less impressive is Irvine senior's hairdo, a Soho scrunch ill-befitting the ornate, period drama.

Set expectations to around zero.

REEL LOWDOWNTHE BEST QUOTE: "He has come into a fortune, and he has great expectations." Mr Jaggers.

BEST BIT: Lead-footed retelling of a Dickens classic.

WORST BIT: Helena Bonham Carter.

IF YOU LIKED: Vanity Fair (2004), Oliver Twist (2005)...



CREEPY 3 Helena Bonham Carter plays spinster Miss Havisham

FATHER FIGURE Z Blacksmith Joe Gargery (Jason Flemyng) takes Pip (Jeremy Irvine) under his wing as an apprentice

PERIOD CHARM Z The film's only saving grace is its good-looking sets

TERRIFYING n Ralph Fiennes plays convict Magwitch
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 30, 2012
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