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Laramie Movie Scope:
Great Expectations

A classic story with a great performances and bad pacing

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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Feb 1, 1998 -- "Great Expectations" is a movie based on the Dickens classic story that benefits from great acting and inventive camera work, but is ultimately dragged down by the slow and awkward way the plot unfolds.

Among the great performances in the film are those of Robert De Niro who plays the escaped prisoner, Lustig, Anne Bancroft, who plays the loony heiress Mrs. Dinsmoor, Ethan Hawke, who plays the protagonist, Finnegan Bell and Gwyneth Paltrow, who plays his hard-to-get love interest, Estella.

While everyone is emoting away with great intensity, the screenplay seems to wander aimlessly with random acts of coincidence throwing people together time and again. I never really bought the relationship between Finnegan and Estelle. Oh, I could buy his fascination with her, but her interest in him didn't come across well. It seemed more like she was playing with him rather than falling in love with him.

I would have liked to have seen more of Lustig and Finnegan's mentor, Joe, (played by Chris Cooper), but poor Finn is left to develop in a near-vacuum, with only his enormous talent to fall back upon. Finn is cast adrift in the chaos of New York City's art world, and the audience is adrift with him. This film rates a C.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 1998 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)