Great Expectations starring Helena Bonham Carter to close London Film Festival

15:12 30 August 2012

Great Expectations, which stars Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, will be the closing film for the BFI London Film Festival. File picture: Yui Mok/PA

Great Expectations, which stars Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham, will be the closing film for the BFI London Film Festival. File picture: Yui Mok/PA

PA Wire/Press Association Images

The European premiere of Great Expectations will close this year’s BFI London Film Festival.

Two of the film’s stars, Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, are expected to attend the festival, which takes place from Wednesday, October 10 to Sunday, October 21.

The 56th festival will show Great Expectations on its closing night at the Odeon Leicester Square.

Based on the book by Charles Dickens, the film features an award-winning cast alongside Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham and Fiennes as Magwitch, including Robbie Coltraine, Jeremy Irvine, David Walliams and Tamzin Outhwaite.

Great Expectations tells the story of orphan Pip, who is given a chance to rise from his humble beginnings thanks to a mysterious benefactor.

Moving through London’s class-ridden world as a gentleman, he uses his new position to pursue the beautiful Estella, who he has loved since childhood.

It is directed by Mike Newell, who directed Four Weddings and a Funeral and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

He said: “It’s a great honour to be invited to be the BFI London Film Festival’s Closing Night film.

“I’m proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth.

“I’ve tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high colour that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens’ darkest-shadowed stories.

“I’ve tried to make a film for a young modern audience in which Pip and Estella’s fated love affair is shown through feelings and stresses that are of today and in a city that was, then, full of brawling energy, was unimaginably wealthy and very bad.”

Clare Stewart, BFI head of exhibition, said: “Visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy, this new adaptation of the classic novel, directed by Mike Newell, provides a fitting conclusion to both the 56th BFI London Film Festival and London’s bicentenary celebrations of the life and work of Charles Dickens.”

The festival’s opening night film is the European premiere of Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie.

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