Mr. Pip (2012)
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 4
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1
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Set against the backdrop of civil war in Bougainville, Mr. Pip stars Golden Globe-winner Hugh Laurie (House) as the enigmatic teacher Mr. Watts who reads to his pupils from Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations". Matilda, a 14-year-old student played by newcomer Xzannjah, is transported by her imagination and the world of Dickens, becoming transfixed by the characters and Mr Watts' interpretation of the story. The film also stars Healsville Joel, Eka Darville and Kerry Fox. A wonderful tale of
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Adamson mixes magical realism with hard-hitting historical drama in a way that feels both contrived and questionable, even if the filmmakers clearly have their hearts in the right place.
I found this film hard to embrace. Mr Watts is a strange character who seems to create problems for himself when he doesn't need to.
Based on the novel by Lloyd Jones, the film is a visually lush, surprising, moving story that wears its unusual premise with a deftly blended mixture of lyricism and brutality.
It will eventually find a home in classrooms, much like Great Expectations before it. However, I don't expect it to invigorate or inspire kids as Mr. Dickens' work regularly does.
"..from a story about literature as the door to imagination and inner freedom to the brutality of ignorance and the lack of imagination, from a coming of age story to a character portrait, and a hero's journey
I love films that surprise me and this heartfelt and unexpectedly powerful film that uses Charles Dickens' Great Expectations as a catalyst for inspiration, certainly does that
Hugh Laurie as the children's teacher Mr Watts is both hauntingly sad and inspiring, and the captivating Xzannjah as Matilda is a natural.
Adamson claims that this was a labor of love, but it leaves you with the feeling that it was made for those who've read the book, and in such a lackadaisical approach to storytelling that it's unlikely to attract new fans.
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