Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Nature Moves: Great Expectations (2012 film)

"Survey the whole, nor seek slight faults to find,
Where nature moves and rapture warms the mind."
(From "An Essay On Criticism" by Alexander Pope)

I didn't have great expectations, especially after the last BBC TV adaptation. But, in fact, I was sniffing and dabbing away manly tears all the way through. I thought it was wonderful, right from the first shots of the Kentish "meshes" and the churchyard. By the by, Cooling (Kent) churchyard has a family plot with so many children's graves that the usually over-the-top Dickens actually had to cut the number down to make it more believable.

Even David Walliams and the comedy characters worked for me. Well, they were just ... Dickensian! And the Finches / Bullingdon Club scene! And Wemmick with his office and his Walworth persona! And the lovely Pips (brothers!) and Estella, haughty but not cold, with a quiver of emotion and even (innovation, this) a touch of sympathy and feeling for Pip in the early scenes.

And Sir Ranulph, no sorry, Ralph Fiennes - is that right? - with an impeccable Cockney persona and accent, thanks in no small part to the admirable dialect coach Joan Washington! Or was it North Kentish? That was my only nit-picking point, the yokel-type Kentish accents. Does anyone know how people spoke around Rochester then? Possibly they had done research and it was accurate. I hope so - and after all Rochester area accents were more countrified and even rhotic (ooh arr ooh arr eh) in those days. Anyway, Joan W wasn't in charge of those characters, I imagine, but 1:1 with RF. And it didn't spoil it though it might have reduced my emotional and tear-ridden assessment from 10/10 to 9.75. After all we have to aim for a perfect fulfilment of our expectations one day.

But I'm not seeking to find any faults #Pope (not Pontifex) !

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