Expecting "Great Expectations?" The title and basic storyline are about all the filmmakers took for their contemporary updating of Dickens' story. The artistic, orphaned Finn (Hawke) is living a meager existence with his trashy sister and his "uncle" Joe in a Florida fishing town. His destiny is intertwined with an escaped convict (De Niro) he aids, the rich and loony Ms. Dinsmoor (Bancroft) and Dinsmoor's beautiful niece Estella (Paltrow). After being spurned by Estella as a teen, Finn quits painting and drawing entirely. Years later a mysterious art dealer offers him a one-man show in New York if he will move there and start creating again. Estella inevitably reappears in his life, providing more than a little inspiration. More style than substance. Although the visuals are stunning, the director should have learned that beauty on the surface isn't all it's cracked up to be from, say...hmm... "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens maybe?
Deserves 1 more bone Juliska at 2011-05-28 22:52:30
This is a valiant effort at a modern-day version of the Dickens classic, though I've only read half the novel, the part I have read is indeed very similar to the story line in this film--more than just the "basic story line." However Charles Dickens actually wrote two endings to his famous novel, one happier than the other. Now I'm compelled to go read the edition I have, which contains both endings. I can't wait!