Dickens in the Deep South

9 02 2011

A bit ago, in the glorious days when I got to see Becky’s sweet face every day, she gave me one of the most thoughtful and meaningful presents I’ve ever received. She knew I loved the great classic story of Great Expectations, but had somehow never managed to see any interpretation of it on film. So she tracked down a gorgeous antique copy of the classic story, and gave it along with a copy of the the 1998 film, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, on DVD.

I immediately rushed home to watch (oh, the small former pleasures of Mr. SIT being at sea) and was entranced in this modern-day telling of Dicken’s classic story. I have a fond place in my heart for the crazy character of Ms. Havisham and the mystery surrounding Pip and his benefactor. Both Anne Bancroft and Robert De Niro were outstanding in their respective roles, but it was Southern boy Ethan Hawke who stole the show. I must confess, I’m not the biggest fan of Mr. Charles Dicken’s writing, but you just can’t beat his stories. And while modern-day retellings of classic novels can sometimes be dangerous, any meeting of Dicken’s storytelling ability with romantic, dark, steamy images of the deep South is a win in my book.

I’ve collected a few still shots from the film to dream about the humid greenery of the South, so if you haven’t seen this gorgeous rendering of Great Expectations, put it on your Netflix list immediately. Some of you Floridians may recognize the historic Ca d’Zan residence in Sarasota, one time home of the famous circus owner, John Ringling. Y’all know I love that something so Southern about dilapidated old homes.

Disclaimer: This film is rated “R” for definite adult themes. It’s a dark movie, certainly not a family pick, with a passionate love story that more than flirts, so view with caution, according to your own conscience.

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One response

10 02 2011
Ally Garner

Great Expectations is one of my favorite books as well. I’ve seen the 1942 adaptation (with Alec Guinness) was great, but by far the latter film is better. Anne Bancroft was simply fabulous.

Glad you loved it too!

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