Great Expectations

The opening sequence is held up by BFI as a masterpiece of editing (David Lean was an editor before he was a director), and repeat viewing of the first two or three minutes really does highlight the subtlety of the transitions (in fact I’m more impressed by the cuts as Pip kneels by his parents’ grave and then gets back up than by the sudden, jolting appearance of Magwitch that so surprised audiences in the past). It’s a shame then, that this otherwise magnificent Dickens adaptation is tarnished a little by the rushed pacing near the end as Pip and Miss Estella reconvene. A necessary result of adapting such a big novel, perhaps. Oh, and can I add my name to the list of people who refuse to buy John Mills as a 20-year-old?! (****½)