Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Great Expectations (1998)

This is a noteworthy movie. Finn is a young boy who is raised by his sister’s boyfriend Joe (Chris Cooper). The man is summoned to the home of Ms. Nora Dinsmoor, the richest woman in Florida, for a gardening job but instead is given an envelope full of cash. Finn goes along with him and sees a young girl named Estella, who is the rich woman's niece. Because she wants the girl to have a playmate, she invites Finn to visit on a regular basis. Several years later Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow) leaves to study abroad in Europe and Finn (Ethan Hawke) gives up his interest in drawing. One day a man comes to him and invites him to a gallery show in New York City with funding from an anonymous donor. He takes up the offer and begins drawing again, and then meets Estella and learns that she is engaged.

Ca' d'Zan, a Mediterranean Revival residence in Sarasota, Florida was built in 1924 by one of the Ringling Brothers and used as the home of Ms. Dinsmoor. The story is based on a lengthy novel written by Charles Dickens in 1861. The setting was changed from London to modern day New York, the hero's name was changed from Pip to Finn, and the character Miss Havisham was renamed Nora Dinsmoor. The song "Siren" was written especially for this film by Tori Amos. All of the portraits in the film were done by Francesco Clemente, an Italian painter.


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