Friday, December 2, 2011

Two New Great Expectations... Two New Miss Havishams

 You may have heard that there are going to be not just one, but two new adaptations of Great Expectations. And you may have also heard that two period drama actresses, Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech) and Gillian Anderson (Bleak House), are both to play Miss Havisham. But have you seen the pictures of their Miss Havisham's yet?

Helena Bonham Carter

Gillian Anderson

I noticed that Helena Bonham Carter's Miss Havisham is wearing Georgian Fashions (notice the heavily trimmed sleeves), while Gillian Anderson's is wearing Regency fashions. If the story starts around 1812, Helena Bonham Carter's Miss Havisham will have fashions that are at least fifteen years old and Gillian Anderson's would have more current fashions for the time. Would Gillian Anderson's Miss Havisham be portrayed as being much younger than how some of us might picture Miss Havisham? Of course, I've never read Great Expectations, so I can't really say which is more accurate to the story.

I also heard that one of the versions will have a different ending than the book...

What do you think? Who do you think will be the better Miss Havisham?

God Bless,
 God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Helena Bonham-Carter's dress looks the way I would have imagined Miss Havisham, but I think Gillian Anderson will do a better job with the role. I always think of Miss Havisham as being in her late sixties, though, and I can't remember how old the book says she is. Both actresses look a little too young in my opinion, but if I had to pick one it would be Gillian Anderson. (Helena Bonham-Carter's Miss Havisham looks like it will be too creepy.)

  2. Oh wow! I hadn't heard about either of these adaptations! Great Expectations is one of my favorite Dicken's books. I love Helena Bonham Carter, and I think she could really nail the role of Miss Havisham. The way the book describes her seems so eccentric and extreme, that I really think her look is accurate. I also see that Sally Hawkins is to play Mrs. Joe. Interesting how she has decided she likes playing that kind of role. It was so strange to see her as Mrs. Reed in Jane Eyre after having only seen her as Anne Eliot. Thanks for sharing this!

  3. I see the publicity still of Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham but I hadn't seen anything from the other film.
    I'm most looking forward to seeing Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham because I think she will be more convincing and more suited to the role. Probably both actresses are a tad too young for the role but Miss Havisham wasn't really an "old lady" until the end of the book when Pip and Estella are all grown up. I like the Regency look better but not sure about historically because I've never read the book.

    I'm really looking forward to Gillian Anderson and the cast of the TV miniseries adaptation. I'd assume that it will be the big screen adaptation with Helena Bonham Carter that will change the ending of the story.

  4. Oh, A quick thought! Dickens actually wrote the novel with two endings. The publisher didn't like his original ending so he changed it for that reason. I wonder if the film with the different ending will draw any elements from that.
    Sorry to comment twice :)

  5. It might not be that Anderson's Havisham is going to be up-to-date - I think some adaptations of Great Expectations are (at least the most recent one is, IIRC) set with the main action 1850s-1860s, to match the publication date instead. Though I do have to say that Anderson's dress looks more late 1790s to me, in some aspects.

    I think if I were going to put money on it, I'd go with the HB-C version changing the ending to be more Hollywood (which isn't necessarily bad - I have to admit, I prefer the ending of the Count of Monte Cristo movie to the book!). But it would be funny if the miniseries ends up going there!

  6. I'm not quite sure who would be better (and keep in mind that I haven't read the book and only saw the Ioan Gruffudd version). Helena Bonham Carter might have the quirkyness down well, but she may come off too creepy (but then I thought some parts of the 1999 Great Expectations were creepy). I haven't seen Gillian Anderson in any period dramas, so I can't really predict how she will portray Miss Havisham.

    I think I remember hearing about the two endings. I think in the article that I read, the version that is changing the ending is combining the two endings, but I can't say for sure.

  7. I had no idea there were two new adaptations of Great Expectations. Last time I heard, there was only one. I can't wait to see both! Then again, I haven't seen the older version yet. If I remember correctly, Great Expectations is set more to the Georgian Era, so Helena's clothing probably fits more to the story. Who'll be the better Miss Havisham? Well, that's for us to find out.

  8. I'm pretty familiar with Great Expectations, so when you mentioned a "different" ending I thought it might be the original ending Dickens wrote but didn't end up in the book. Anyway, I'm excited for both! Not sure who will do better in the role, but I may be leaning a bit toward Gillian Anderson (we just watched Bleak House, actually!)

  9. Haha! Gillian Anderson! That is interesting. I don't like the story of Great Expectations, but I'm hoping I'll like one of these movies tolerably well enough.

  10. I haven't seen Gillian Anderson in any period dramas, so I can't really predict how she will portray Miss Havisham.

    Based on her performance in Bleak House, I'd guess she'd be very, very cold, regal, and distant.


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