Great Expectations

20th Century Fox Released 1998


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Movie Summary

Alfonso Cuarón
Great Expectations is a 1998 film that was loosely adapted from Charles Dickens famous novel of the same name. The film is a contemporary adaptation of the novel and takes place in both Florida and New York City. The film follows the life of Finn Bell (Ethan Hawke) in his journey to becoming a man. The film starts out with him as a boy in Florida. One day on a beach he inadvertently helps an escaped convict (Robert DeNiro) get to safety. It is shortly after that Finn meets a young Estella (Qwyneth Paltrow) who inspires him to begin drawing. But when Estella leaves one night and runs away to Europe, Finn, heart broke, takes it as a sign and gives up painting. Many years later Finn is contacted about doing an art show in New York City. Once told by Estella that New York City was the capital of the art world, Finn quickly jumps at the opportunity and begins drawing again. Once in New York he runs into Estella. They quickly develop a rocky relationship riddled with love games, but Estella is set to marry another man. The night of his big art premiere Estella is nowhere to be found, but Finn does run into Lustig who he finds out has been his benefactor this entire time as thanks for letting him escape prison so many years ago. Through a violent mishap on a train, Lustig is stabbed and killed in front of Finn. As the last straw, Finn moves to Paris to study art and make a name for himself in his own right.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 60

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    Largely because Mr. Cuaron is such a voluptuous visual stylist, this Great Expectations is capable of wonder even when its wilder ideas misfire.

  • 50

    Variety Todd McCarthy

    Beautifully made production lacks the emotional depth and dramatic tension needed to command audience attention beyond the level of a talented curiosity.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Suffers from being neither here nor there. In its rush to modernize its story and attract a young audience with stars like Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow, the film ends up problem...

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