Mike Newell's 'Great Expectations' to Close BFI London Film Festival

Helena Bonham Carter Great Expectations H
BBC Films

The 56th edition of the festival will end with the Charles Dickens adaptation with Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes.


The 56th BFI London Film Festival will close with the European premiere of Great Expectations, directed by Mike Newell.

Adapted by David Nicholls and starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes, the film features "an outstanding British cast," the British Film Institute said in announcing the closing film on Thursday.

"Visually ravishing and rippling with immediacy, this new adaptation of the classic novel, directed by Mike Newell provides a fitting conclusion to both the 56th BFI London Film Festival and London’s bi-centenary celebrations of the life and work of Charles Dickens," said Clare Stewart, BFI head of exhibition about her first closing night film choice as festival director.

Said Newell: "I’m proud that our new version of Great Expectations should be presented this year, the bi-centenary of Dickens’ birth. I’ve tried to make a film that is true to the theatrical vividness, energetic characters and high color that he is loved for, while mining the deep seams of emotional cruelty and madness that underlie one of Dickens’ darkest-shadowed stories."

Lionsgate will release the film in the U.K. starting on Nov. 30.

Helena Bonham Carter, Fiennes and Newell are expected to attend the festival, the BFI said.

The 56th BFI London Film Festival, organized in partnership with American Express, runs Oct. 10-Oct. 21. The full lineup will be unveiled on Sept 5.

The organization previously announced that Tim Burton's animated Frankenweenie would open this year's festival.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai