Oscar History

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Nov 04 2011

Pip Pip Hooray For Helena

JA fromMNPPhere.I consider myself fairly well read,and yet lately the news has seemed stuffed with exceptions where I have to admit that oh,somehow that book that I'm supposed to have read slipped by me.Yesterday I felt that way withthe newsthat Steve Buscemi is planning on adapting William S.Burroughs' bookQueer(with the fantastic trio of Guy Pearce,Ben Foster,and Kelly MacDonald) causing me to realize and shamefully acknowledge the fact that I haven't readanyBurroughs at all.

And today we have the first images fromMike Newell's adaptationof Charles Dickens classicGreat Expectations,and as I considered writing a post on these pictures a thought occurred to me - I've never read this book either!My education was a farce.And,while according to Wikipedia the book'sbeen adaptedfor various mediums dozens of times,the only version I have ever seen isAlfonso Cuarón's loose adaptationin 1998 with Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow and Anne Bancroft camping it up as "Ms.Dinsmoor,"their take on book's infamously wackadoo jilted bride Miss Havisham.

Which brings us to this,the reason we're here:

Exclamation points!!!Love it.That's Helena Bonham Carter as Miss Havisham in Mike Newell's film-to-be,and it's an extraordinary enough thing to look at that I decided my knowledge of the source material or lack thereof be damned,this must be gawked at.Just the other day Nat was talking abouthow often Kirsten Dunst plays destroyed brides- looks like HBC's giving her a run for the money in that department.Bride wars,part two!

You can see one more pictureover at Deadline,where the picture originated.The film's not out until next Fall;it also stars Sally Hawkins and Jason Flemyng and as head-boy Pip we've gotWar Horse's Jeremy Irvine.What do we think?

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Reader Comments (18)

This actually looks very exciting.Also,kudos to whoever made that costume.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMikhael

you had me at 'Helena.' any movie involving her instantly has my money for a ticket.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered Commenterolivia


That picture has given me the biggest,Cheshire cat-style grin for the past five minutes.And I DESPISE Great Expectations.But Helena's face!Her EYES!PERFECTION.Can she finally get her Oscar for this?PLEASE?!?

November 4,2011 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Yeah it's weird IMDb doesn't say who the costume designer is,I'd love to know who's handiwork that brilliance is from,it's gorgeous.In that rotting scary way.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJA

Great Expectations is the first book I recommend to readers not familiar with Dickens - it's relatively brisk and the first-person narration seems to be easier for a number of modern eyes.It's not my favorite but it works well for film (his serialization has been more fully achieved with a number of recent television series - including,I believe,a dueling Great Expectations on the way).


November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmes

I adore Alfono's version---visually it's beautiful and the casting is also quite good.Also,that 90s soundtrack,I love!

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterBia

She looks amazing.So,so excited for this.

I hope that Imogene and Annette Bening's inevitable Oscar win holds off until 2013.Next year should be Helena's turn to be the bride!

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Denny- I completely agree.I loathe the book but am excited and intrigued by HBC.

Ames- the words "Great Expectations"and "brisk"should never be uttered in the same sentence unless a "not"is also involved.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Ooh,looks fab!Adore HBC,and I can see her getting a supporting oscar nod for this if the film does well commercially and/or critically.Though,she's got to a walk a fine line between malacious and pathetic (the character was jilted at the altar and was so traumatized and heartbroken by the incident that it drove her mad).She also can't get over the top with this,like she's done in lesser,lighter similar fare such as the Queen of Hearts in 'Alice and Wonderland' and 'Bellatrix Lestrange' in the HP movies.

If she can walk that tightrope and not chew the scenery,she likely be in the running for Oscar come 2013.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Oh,stop pretending this is going to be subtle.It's the melodramatic story of Miss Havisham,not a real life case of insanity.This is a natural role for scenery chewing.So,come on: Stuff that mouth,give us a fun performance to watch.Dive off that tightrope.If the Oscar comes anyway,know that you did what was natural and they loved it.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Mike M -- imogene???

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterNathaniel R

Not everything has to win an Oscar-this will just be basketcase-y goodness.And she'll be in period clothes outside of Burton's watchful eye,which theoretically should be a good thing.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Out of context but...18 animated titles submitted for Oscar,including TINTIN:

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJorge Rodrigues

What's wrongwith these people?Dickens has haters,now?Oh my.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Imogene is coming from Berman and Pulcini,a directorial team that's uneven,to say the least,even though American Splendor was pretty good.Plus,we don't know if Bening's a lead or a support in it.In fact,I'd love to see Bening get a supporting actress Oscar at the 85th,but I'd probably put it down to Hemingway & Fuentes (Andy Garcia with a baity subject) or He Loves Me (Dayton & Farris' finally returning) instead.

November 4,2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia


Of course this not a real life case of insantiy.This is a fictional story with ficitional charcters,of which Miss Havisham is but one.Her backstory is that she was jilted at the altar by the man she loved.So heartbroken and traumatized by this incident,she goes mad.In turn,this creates one of the major threads of the story - Havisham embittered by the incident fosters and raises Estella (her ward,if memory serves) to be a misandrist.

Bact to HBC - her bombastic over the top performance in the HP movies are off putting (for me,at least),and even though I quite like HBC these performances are hard to watch.I'd much rather see HBC walk the tightrope and bring back those glory days of her other period costumed dramas when she was the 'It' girl of the Merchant Ivory films,where a touch of emotional restraint was not only de rigeur to the character,but an essential element to the story.

November 5,2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlinking Cursor

Once HBC has played Miss Havisham,where else can she go?It seems like she's spent the last 15 years preparing to do it.

November 5,2011 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

Wasn't Miss Havisham quite a bit older?It's been years since I read the text...I remember the descriptions of the clothes being yellowed with age,but I may be influenced by the image of Martita Hunt in Lean's version.(Which I grew up with as a kid on the old movie shows on the local TV station...before AMC and cable and such.)

I find myself agreeing with Blinking Cursor - I look at this and think - "Eh,Helena doing another crumbling-doll over the top role,been there done that,haven't we?"Not that she wouldn't be fabulous,but I'd rather hope that doing work for another director would lead to different types of roles.This looks like a still for a Tim Burton film.(Or an Addams Family sequel.Now,Angelica Huston and HBC sharing screentime would be all kinds of awesome.)

Still,the costuming and set design on display here are lovely.

November 7,2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
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