“I’m not going to tell this story the way it happened. I’m going to tell it the way I remember it.” This is how Finn, Ethan Hawke, introduces the movie based on Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. “Great Expectations” updates Charles Dickens’ novel by setting it in modern times instead of the 1810s to the 1830s. It changes the story from rural England and London to the Florida and New York City. The movie follows the romance of two people Finn and Estella (played by, Gwyneth Paltrow) from childhood to adulthood.
“Great Expectations” is a story about how love can separate a person from the people who love him best, and from his own best instincts. Finn rejects the honest and simple man, Joe (played by, Chris Cooper), who raises him. He calls up every conflict people ever feel between desiring for the larger world and wishing to remain loyal to the smaller one they come from. “Great Expectations” is a story that the public can relate to because at some point, everyone goes through the struggles that Finn must battle. It shows that possessions and wealth do not change who people are inside, and that finding one’s self can be a long process. What stands out in Great Expectations, even more than the wonderful performances, is the picture making. The camera moves in sensuous ways making the movie seem ravishing.
The movie begins in a quiet Florida fishing village in the ‘70s. Finn Bell is a ten year-old orphan boy who lives with his sister (who runs off one night and is never seen from again) and her boyfriend, Joe. One afternoon, while drawing the fish in the shallow Gulf waters, an escaped convict, Lustig (played by Robert DeNiro), rises out of the water grabs the boy and scares him into bringing food and tools to help him break out of his shackles. Finn shows Lustig kindness, an act that is not forgotten, even after they make their separate ways. Even though Finn was scared of Lustig and could of report him or not help him at all, he chose to be very nice and not only he did not tell on him but also brought him painkillers and alcohol. I think Lustig knew that Finn was scared of him and would probably do what he was told but he was somewhat surprised and appreciative of Finn’s act.
The 1974 adaptation of the critically acclaimed novel the Great Gatsby is directed by Jack Clayton and screenwriten by Francis Ford Coppola, with Robert and Mia Farrow as leads. The two actors give excellent performances, and certainly portray the beautiful people they are made out to be in the book. One scene in particular that reflected that Redford was was chosen for this part was when the Nick ...
One day, not long after, while helping his Uncle Joe to do some gardening work, at the mansion owned by Ms. Dinsmoor (played by, Anne Bancroft), Finn sees a beautiful young girl with blonde hair. The mansion is a wreck, covered with gold, where hanging vines and a carpet of dead leaves decorate the ballroom. Gulls wing their way past the remnants of gold-leaf ceilings. Though the meeting is brief, he is clearly charmed by her. Soon he is called to go regularly to the mansion, to serve as a dance partner and to draw the portrait of Ms. Dinsmoor’s niece, Estella, the girl that Finn saw in the garden. Finn’s sister really wanted him to go because of the money, but Joe was concerned about him going. Joe loves and cares about Finn a lot and he does not want him to do something Finn feels uncomfortable doing. Even when they leave Finn outside the door of the mansion, Joe is concerned about Finn going in there.
Ms. Dinsmoor seems crazy and wants Finn to dance for her, to entertain her. Instead Finn tells her he knows how to draw. So she makes Estella sit there and Finn draw her portrait. She watches with joy the young boy fall in love for her niece, whom she is shaping into a cold woman that will break the hearts of men, a revengeful act born from her own tragic abandonment at the altar many years before. Even though Ms. Dinsmoor warns him that Estella will only break his heart he sees something in her that makes him fall in love with her. It is here that Finn and Estella share their first moment of intimacy.
Finn continues his regular Saturday appointments at the Dinsmoor home, and though it seems the couple have become close, Estella, having learned her lessons well from Ms. Dinsmoor, leaves Finn heartbroken and disappears overseas. Finn, disappointed by Estella’s rejection, gives up his painting and begins working full-time for Joe on his fishing boat.
Joseph Conrad was a very talented author. He started writing at the age of thirty-two, and began telling many tales of his life on the sea. In his youth he was a sailor and traveled to many places such as the Orient, and the Congo. It are his experiences on the Congo that serves as his primary source for his story The Heart of Darkness. This book was actually a story of a man, Charles Marlow, ...
Another seven years pass by and a lawyer goes to Finn and tells him he has an invitation from a New York gallery to do a one-man show. Behind all these there is a secret benefactor, seemingly Ms. Dinsmoor. Finn at first thought it is a crazy idea, mainly because he had stopped painting. He goes and finds Ms. Dinsmoor and tells her what he had been offered. She urges Finn to take the opportunity, because Estella is in New York.
Finn thinks that his dream comes true when he becomes one of the young famous artists in New York. When Finn and Estella meet in Central Park, it is a golden bower, and the landscape of the Manhattan skyline is so beautiful, the viewer might think it is one of Finn’s dreams.
When Finn acquires a benefactor, it is not just money he acquires; it is the chance to move up in people’s eyes, especially the snob Estella’s eyes. He thought that if he met Estella’s standards, he could win her heart. He abandons his loyal friends and takes up a flashy life style. Finn thinks that with money and glamour people would not look down on him anymore, especially Estella, and they will admire him. Pursuing his dreams in the glamorous world of New York, the once-poor artist seems to finally have it all: wealth, status, fame and a reunion with Estella. Finn becomes a successful artist, but only cares about Estella. It is here that Finn’s and Estella’s old love affair picks up, he is a very quiet person and she is an icy cold tease. She breaks Finn’s heart when he finds out, that she is going to marry a man named Walter Plane (played by Hank Azaria), who has commitment problems.
Finn’s origins, family, and connections are important to him, but he wants to keep them a secret in the new, glamorous life he has now. The only scene that Finn becomes embarrassed of his past, is when Joe appears at his art opening. Finn is embarrassed because Joe is not acting like everybody else in there. Joe tells old stories about Finn that once were good, achieving and now embarrassing. He also makes a scene when accidentally he pushes with his elbow a tray with drinks a waitress was caring. While Joe is trying to help the waitress pick up the mess, Finn gets aggravated and yells at him to get up and stop what he is doing. Seeing Finn’s reaction Joe decided to leave. Finn finally got what he wanted. He broke his ties with Joe and his past (poverty) and gained a glamorous lifestyle of a famous and successful artist. Everything he achieved, anything he had done in his life was for Estella and the only thing he gets in return is his heart broken, just like Ms. Dinsmoor told him at the beginning of the movie. Estella gets married the day of Finn’s art opening. Estella snaps shut behind her need to close off her emotions. She is bewitching and, in a different way from Finn, just as heartbroken.
ASHCAN SCHOOL The Ashcan School was a movement which was integral and in a way 1 inevitable with the infancy of the twentieth century. This movement in art was brought about by a handful of artists who converged on New York City around the turn of the century. 2 The major Ashcan artists who will be discussed later are Robert Henry (1865- 1929), George Luks (1866- 1933), Everett Shinn (1876- 1953), ...
I think the movie is enjoyable for all audiences. For the most part, it feels like a modern fairy tale. (After all, where else but in a fairy tale could you find an empty New York City subway train at six o’clock in the morning?) The majority of the film’s missteps are not so much the result of shifting the novel in time and place, but of condensing it to fit into a two-hour time slot. The story and themes are still there, mostly together, yet those unfamiliar with the original text might not realize that the essential elements have been picked up from the classic novel.