We've come to expect that movies will take any real life character or situation and mold it into a more digestible, often more beautiful form. But some characters are, without a doubt, bound to their more terrifying forms: ring wraiths, the dementors, and Miss Havisham. However, in the newly released trailer for Mike Newell's adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, we find Helena Bonham Carter as a new kind of Miss Havisham — one who's almost alluring.
The trailer delivers the main antagonist of the novel as someone evolved from the text's original, terrible description in which Miss Havisham is the Dickens equivalent of a zombie: "But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose, had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could."Of course, for the film, Carter's Havisham is a creature that would perhaps more logically beget a child as beguiling as her ward and weapon against all men, Estella (Holliday Granger). The trailer sets up Pip's (War Horse's Jeremy Irvine) unwieldy life journey through the house of Miss Havisham and into his more wealthy life at the hands of a mysterious benefactor, all while Granger's cool Estella tempts him with her heartless beauty. The film also stars two of Carter's Harry Potter co-stars, Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch and Robbie Coltrane as Mr. Jaggers (Carter's Bellatrix LeStrange was bound to Fiennes' Voldemort while Coltrane's Hagrid helped Harry Potter).
Check out the trailer and judge Carter's Miss Havisham for yourself. Does she meet your great expectations? Could we even handle a Havisham who truly met Dickens' description?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Lionsgate]
More: Mike Newell To Direct 'Great Expectations' Adaptation Origins of 'Total Recall': Is a Faithful Philip K. Dick Adaptation Even Possible? 'Dark Knight Rises': Is Batman a Modern Day Dickens Character?
I call the Real Housewives all sorts of mean names, from screech banshees to shriek harridans to feces-chucking monkeys, but basically they are all just monsters. They are awful molded flesh, plasticine, and filler wrapped around a dark core. They're the opposite of a Scooby-Doo villain who looks like an evil sea creature but you tear off it's head and there is a human underneath. They all (well, most of them at least) look like real people but when you gaze deep into their eyes or other orifices you see that there is just some gross squid mutant below, shucking and jiving its limbs in the blackest abyss. Yes, they're all monsters, but the biggest monster I have ever seen was Vicki when her daughter announced that she eloped. It's like she turned into Slimer from Ghostbusters just wobbling through the air and pelting everyone with green glowing globs of her all-consuming narcissism.
Vicki says that Brianna eloping was disrespectful and rude. She says, "You've taken every dream away from me. It robbed me...Hello, it's not about them...I hate to make it about me." Oh Vicki. You are like the cowpie stain on King Joffrey's face. That's what you are: Residual turds. Everything she has to say about Brianna's marriage is wrong because, well, it is about Brianna and her husband. Their relationship is about them. It has nothing to do with you, Vicki. Yes, you may be disappointed and upset, sure, but you have absolutely no right to carry on like you have been robbed of some fundamental right. Driving your daughter crazy about the flowers at the engagement party isn't in the constitution. It isn't even in the covenants of whatever gated community you live in. It's not even in your Bravo contract. It is some elaborate fantasy that you have cooked up for yourself so that you could find a way to shine through your daughter. Frankly, it's pretty disgusting.
Particularly because we all love Brianna. She is, I suppose, the only real person who has ever inhabited one of these shows. She's like an actual, rational human being, which is harder to find than a unicorn giving a ride to a straight Liza Minelli fan on the way to watch the Browns in the Super Bowl (the Browns are a family of football playing squirrels). That is to say that Brianna is unique and amazing and someone who I would actually want to be friends with. I would say that I would watch a reality show all about her, but it would probably just be scenes of her watching Grey's Anatomy on DVR wearing her comfy sweats and on her third glass of wine, which would be fun but I watched that show for 18 years when it was called "Mom" and it was kind of boring.
This is all to say that the audience, of course, has Brianna's back in The Great Battle of the Elopement. Oh, speaking of which, I love when Vicki was like "We never really fought," and then the show brings up all this old black and white footage of years of the two of them squabbling. You can't hide from the past when it's so well documented, Vicki. You can't run, you can't hide, and you can't reinvent. You can only be humiliated.
Next: What the hell is Wine By Wives?
Alright, I'm going to skip over all the stupid shit about Gretchen and Slade getting married (seriously, Gretch, if you marry him with all that debt and messiness then your head is emptier than Alexis' prayers) and get right to the Wine by Wives party. First of all, what is Wine by Wives? It appears to be some sort of alcoholic ponzi scheme. It's a Pinot Grift-io. I bet Brooks thought it up because, well, he is a flim-flam man. Anyway, Vicki and Tamra invite all their friends over to some penthouse in Irvine, the luxury capital of the state of California's higher education department, to launch their liquid pyramid scheme. Actually, there weren't that many people there. It was the Housewives and their attendant husbands (except Tamra got a special dispensation for her son Ryan so that he could leave the house and go to the party and his ankle monitor wouldn't go off) and Alexis brought an alien. Oh, wait. That's Jim. He just looks so much like a fat version of the Great Gazoo that I always get confused. There were like three other people there and they were all probably employees of Vicki's.
Anyway, Michael, Vicki's other kid who is never on the show at all because he must be boring as blob of Play-D'oh or just hates that his family is trotting it's life out on the screen, show's up at the party and everyone is all fancied up and gussy gloried to hell and Michael rolls in wearing jeans. "What up, dawgs?!" he asks, giving everyone deuces and making a face like someone just dropped said deuce. Vicki introduces him to Brooks, her boyfriend who is a criminal of some sort, and tells them to go off together and have a catch and sing a round of "Cat's in the Cradle." They go upstairs and Brooks is all, "I really love your mom. She's so great, and I know I just met her two weeks ago but I have investigated her stock portfolio and I have decided that I will say whatever she wants to please her. Are you OK with that? So, what about your sister? Oh, and I have these time shares in Arizona and the great thing is you don't have to sell them, you just have to recruit people who are going to pay you to try to sell them. It's called multi-level marketing. That's what I do. We can make a fortune."
Michael, however is all like, "Um, I don't really want to do this now. I don't want to meet every man my mom dates. Also, I saw Glengarry Glen Ross and I think that you're trying to pull a scam on me. What the fuck is wrong with you?" Michael is also a little pissed that Brianna didn't tell him that she got married and he had to find out on Facebook. I feel your pain, Mike. My brother eloped and he told me by text message. He couldn't even call? What a jerk! But I got over it pretty quickly, why can't all of these Housepersonages? What is their damage, Dion?
Anyway, so Vicki calls all 10 people at this big deluxe Amway wine party and says she has a big announcement to make. Her daughter Brianna, that no good asshole, went and got married in Vegas and didn't even ask her. "Here is a whip, if you will please step up and take turns lashing Mr. and Mrs. Brianna and her Husband!" Brianna comes out and everyone is all excited. Heather says, "I'm shocked!" Alexis says, "Praise Jesus." Gretchen says, "I think I lost my blue cheese in this wine glass. SLLLLLLAAAAAAAAAAAAADE, get it out!" Tamra says, "You are wearing my dress, you freaking cooze!"
Everyone is very happy but they all say that if their daughters eloped, that they would have a conniption fit. Get over it, people. When your child is 25 years old and makes a decision that makes her happy you just need to get over it and move on with your life. I mean it's not like Brianna's husband Ryan is some guy who abandoned his children in Mississippi so that he could go live with a lonely wealthy woman on a reality television show and has no describable profession and has been to prison for not paying child support. No, it's not like that at all. He's a nice young man who was in the Marines and served in Iraq and is as quick to laugh and easy-going as Brianna. Anyone would love to have him in the family.
Then Vicki tells everyone that she has a huge surprise for Brianna. "Oh, don't say you're engaged," she mumbles. Vicki shoots a dagger out of her eye says, "No. It's drunk Uncle Billy!" She says and a sozzled swizzle stick of a man comes sloshing down the stairs holding a bottle of Jack in one hand, his tie undone and his jacket full of boozy sweat. "Heya kiddo. Howth it hangin?" Oh, Drunk Uncle Billy.
After that big surprise, Vicki tells Brianna and Ryan that they have to sit down and talk to Brooks. She doesn't want to. As she said before, no one knows anything about this guy or what he does or who he is and he just says everything you want to hear in his low twang like he's Sawyer returned from The Island and aged 20 years. Brianna is right to be cautious. They sit down and Brooks is all, "I love you like a daughter. I love you like my own kids, which means I think you're really awesome and everything, but I won't give you a red cent. But you are the HTTP Colon Backslash Blackslash Dubya Dubya Dubya dot Bomb dot Com. And you have success in your genes, because your mom is so successful, so whatever you do, you are genetically disposed to be amazing. Now, enough with the flattery. A friend of mine told me about this bridge that is connected to Manhattan. Now, it seems like a sound investment and he said that he could sell me a few pieces of this bridge and it's going to make a very lot of money. Would you be interested in loaning me some money for this business opportunity?"
Vicki cuts him off to let Brianna know that their relationships are the same. Oh hell no, Vicki. Brianna is married to a nice, normal, wonderful, loving hunk of a Marine and you are being swindled by Foghorn Leghorn. You're just letting Colonel Sanders walk right into your henhouse and walk away with all the Chicken (Flavored Product). Brianna is this guy's partner. You are Brook's meal ticket. Don't you see the difference?
After their meeting, Brianna finished off her stemless glass of champagne and got up off the Ikea couch to go. "Brianna, wait," Vicki said, toppling after her into the hall. And that left Ryan an Brooks sitting alone on the sectional. Ryan was leaning back into the cushions, his arm up on top of them, feeling the void that Brianna just left. He put his hand on his leg close to his crotch. It was a defensive position, and Brooks rocked on his feet a bit as he sat hunched over with his arms on his thighs. He was looking right at Ryan and trying to figure out the thing he would say to him to win him an ally. Maybe he could mention something about the war or his time in the service. He hadn't even served, but he could make something up, he was good at that. Maybe he should welcome him and let him know that his first mother-in-law didn't like him either, which is why he sold her savings bonds and bought himself a jet-ski. Maybe he should just get him drunk and tell him stories about when he was a young pussy hound down in Bay St. Louis, taking the young windows of oil men from New Orleans to town and getting gifts out of them slowly, like pearls out of oysters. No, that was too obvious. Like gold from a mine. Nope, again, too on the head. Like those little bits of pudding out of bubble tea, one flavorful burst at a time flying up a fat plastic straw and into his mouth. That's what he would tell him, his pussy hound days. "You know, Ryan...."
"No." Ryan responded, not moving or flinching. Definitive. Succinct. "Don't."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Though ostensibly successful 2009’s The Final Destination represented to many a horror franchise on its last hackneyed legs. Rote uninspired and humorless it scored a (modest) hit only by virtue of the novelty -- and added ticket price -- of its 3D transfer. Two years later Final Destination 5 arrives with a slightly tweaked formula a beefed-up storyline actors you might actually recognize and genuine honest-to-goodness 3D. It’s still schlock mind you -- but artful schlock and a marked improvement over the preceding entry.
The story begins in familiar fashion with a cursory introduction to the characters followed by a grisly premonition that sees them perish wholesale. An assortment of cubicle-dwellers at a paper factory are being bused to a corporate retreat when one of them Sam (Nicholas D’Agosto perpetually bug-eyed) dreams of a massive bridge collapse in which he and his co-workers are impaled beheaded bisected crushed by cars singed by tar -- however many ways a suspension bridge can kill a person the film’s opening set-piece explores it gruesome detail. Sam awakens duly horrified and demands the bus be evacuated. Seconds later the employees watch in horror from the sidelines as Sam’s vision comes to fruition.
You know what happens next. One-by-one death stalks the survivors who meet their fate in a series of elaborately-staged incidents. Some are relatively straightforward; others involve fiendish head-fakes and red herrings. The range of victims is older and more colorful than in previous Final Destination films in which death preyed exclusively on attractive nubile teenagers but the end result is invariably the same. (Not to give anything away but those considering acupuncture or laser eye surgery would be wise to avoid the film entirely.) As death’s scheme becomes achingly evident Sam his lachrymose girlfriend Molly (Emma Bell) and his increasingly unhinged buddy Peter (Miles Fisher) become increasingly desperate. Enter the ever-ominous Tony Todd returning to the franchise after (wisely) taking the previous film off offering a potential way out. But is it genuine or just another of death’s cruel tricks?
Director Steven Quale a James Cameron protege hired principally for his 3D expertise takes full advantage of the added dimension delivering some of the most vivid and immersive 3D sequences in recent memory. Unlike The Final Destination which seemed little more than a amalgam of crude one-liners Final Destination 5 feels like a real movie one with a discernible plot an element of suspense and a handful characters who are more than just punchlines. Most of the actors are surprisingly competent save for Fisher a credible doppelganger for Tom Cruise (he parodied him 2008’s Superhero Movie) who imbues every line with couch-jumping intensity.
Final Destination 5 ends with a twist that while genuinely unexpected feels like a Hail Mary for a franchise that can’t forestall its inexorable descent into stale irrelevance despite the best of efforts from Quale. Its trademark formula has simply lost its potency -- a problem no amount of cosmetic upgrades however welcome can fix. That the film is bracketed by two pointless and time-consuming montages -- the first an animated sequence that hurtles various hazardous objects at the audience the second a greatest hits compilation of memorable kills from previous Final Destination films -- is a telltale sign that the saga’s creativity is on life support. Perhaps it’s time to pull the plug.
Today in Oscar bait: Jeremy Irvine and Helena Bonham Carter are in talks to join Mike Newell's adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations as Pip and Miss Havisham, respectively. Rowan Joffe (The American) is adapting the screenplay, a story of an orphan who becomes a young gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.
Many consider Great Expectations to be one of Dickens' best works, so unsurprisingly, this won't be its first adaptation. Back in 1948, David Lean directed an Oscar-winning black and white version. Followed by that was a contemporary remake, set in NYC and pretty poorly done (IMO) by Alfonso Cuaron. Then in 1999, Julian Jarrold made a Masterpiece Theatre version.
If you've made it this far without googling Jeremy Irvine's name, here's the scoop: he's a fresh face who makes his big screen debut later this year with Steven Spielberg's War Horse, which releases December 28. Apparently, Spielberg picked the young actor out of obscurity for that role, so he must be a pretty talented kid. That or his uncle is Harrison Ford or something.
Roy Horn publicly describes attack for the first time
Roy Horn, one-half of the illusionist duo Siegfried & Roy, described for the first time his memories of being mauled by a tiger in an interview with Maria Shriver that aired Wednesday on the NBC special, Siegfried & Roy: The Miracle. Asked by Shriver what he was thinking at the time, Horn answered: "Dear God, let this be just a bad nightmare." Horn also told Shriver he remembers having a near-death experience on the operating table. "I saw a bank of white light, and then I saw all my beloved animals ... For a moment I stepped out of my body," said Horn, who now uses a motorized wheelchair. The magician was attacked by a 380-pound tiger named Montecore during a live performance at The Mirage hotel-casino in Las Vegas. The 7-year-old tiger bit into Horn's neck and dragged him off stage--until a show employee broke the animal's grip using a fire extinguisher.
Walters exits 20/20
Barbara Walters is giving up her role as co-host of the ABC newsmagazine show 20/20 after 25 years--and 740 interviews. Walters, 72, became a fixture on 20/20 in 1979 when she joined forces with then-host Hugh Downs. She has since interviewed the famous and infamous, including Richard Nixon, Michael Jackson, Erik and Lyle Menendez, Margaret Thatcher, Moammar Gadhafi, Monica Lewinsky, Bing Crosby, Robin Givens and Mike Tyson, Elton John and Ronald Reagan. But the veteran anchor says she is not retiring. "I'll be doing specials that I can pick and choose. I might even do an interview for 20/20 from time to time," Walters tells The Associated Press. "But in terms of anchoring 20/20--I'm done." Elizabeth Vargas will step in to replace her at the anchor desk next to John Stossel. On Friday, Walters will host a two-hour retrospective of many of her past interviews with 20/20. Then on Sept. 24, ABC will air Walters' last interview, a conversation with Mary Kay Letourneau, the former sixth-grade schoolteacher who went to prison for having sex with a student.
Johnny Ramone dies at 55
Ramones' guitarist Johnny Ramone died today following a five-year battle with prostate cancer, Reuters reports. He was 55. According to the group's Web site, Ramone died in his sleep at 3:03 p.m. at his Los Angeles home, surrounded by his wife, Linda Cummings, relatives and friends. Ramone, whose was born John Cummings, performed with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame punk band from its initial concert at New York City's Performance Studio March 30, 1974 to its 2,263rd and final show at the Lollapalooza festival at the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater Aug. 6, 1996. Ramone is survived by his wife and his mother. His body will be cremated during a private ceremony.
Zeta-Jones' stalker to stand trial
Superior Court Judge Patricia M. Schnegg yesterday ordered a woman accused of stalking actress Catherine Zeta-Jones to stand trial, the AP reports. Dawnette Knight, 33, was arrested June 3 at her Beverly Hills, Calif., home and pleaded not guilty to one account of stalking and 24 counts of making criminal threats. The judge ordered Knight held on $1 million bail and to return to court Sept. 27 for arraignment. The charges involve more than 24 letters sent to Zeta-Jones's husband, actor Michael Douglas. In one letter, Knight said: "We are going to slice her up like meat on a bone and feed her to the dogs." In another letter, she allegedly apologized, claiming she had been in love with Douglas. Dwight's case had been halted July 30 pending a psychiatric evaluation after she suffered from an overdose of barbiturates, but a judge found her mentally competent to stand trial.
Madonna goes to Israel for spiritual guidance
Following her concert tour Re-Invention, Madonna (or should we say Esther, her given Hebrew name) is heading to Israel for a little spiritual cleansing, Reuters reports. The pop diva, whose itinerary was kept under wraps for security reasons, arrived at a luxury hotel in Tel Aviv late Wednesday to join about 2,000 fellow Kabbalists from the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Center to celebrate the start of the Jewish New Year. The Catholic-bred singer's interest in the religion has raised some controversy among some ultra-Orthodox Jews who are afraid the growing popularity of the movement among non-Jews is nothing more than a trend that demeans their religious beliefs. But Madonna has said she takes the belief in Jewish mysticism very seriously and is irritated by accusations. Madonna's schedule was to also include a visit to graves of Jewish sages in northern Israel as well as shrines such as the flashpoint Rachel's Tomb on the edge of Bethlehem, traditional burial place of the biblical matriarch Rachel, Reuters reports.
Bobby Brown heads to Bravo
Cable network Bravo has ordered 10 one-hour episodes of Being Bobby Brown, a reality series about the troubled singer. The show, set to debut in the second quarter of next year, will chronicle the R&B singer's efforts to clean up his life after his numerous run-ins with the law. Brown's wife Whitney Houston will appear, as well as his children from their marriage and previous relationships. "Being Bobby Brown will allow the public to see Brown outside the context of a pop icon and bad boy, rather, they'll witness an artist striving to clean up his life for his future and the future of his family," Bravo president Lauren Zalaznick said.
John Lennon musical in the works
Lennon, a musical about the former Beatle John Lennon's life, is set to open on Broadway next summer, in time for the 25th anniversary of his murder at the hands of a crazed fan, Variety reports. The project will include such post-Beatle songs as "Imagine," "Instant Karma," "Give Peace a Chance," "(Just Like) Starting Over" and "Whatever Gets You Through the Night." The play was written and will be directed by TV veteran Don Scardino. No cast is set as yet.
Kennedy Center honors John, Beatty
Elton John and Warren Beatty will be among six entertainers to receive the annual Kennedy Center honors this year, the center told Reuters on Wednesday. The other recipients will be the husband-and-wife team of actors and producers Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, soprano Joan Sutherland, and composer and conductor John Williams. The 2004 honorees will be feted at a gala performance in the Kennedy Center's Opera House on Dec. 5.
Kit Bowen contributed to this report.