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Great Expectations review – Olivia Colman is mesmerisingly sinister - - Welcome Press "Enter" to skip to content

Great Expectations review – Olivia Colman is mesmerisingly sinister

The Oscar winner is so good that the rest of this adaptation from the Peaky Blinders creator feels like filler. But do we really need yet another take on Dickens’ novel?

My goodness, is it that time already? The Great Expectations adaptation seems to come around quicker every decade, does it not? There have been between 12 and 17 versions for film and television (depending on where you draw the line between “adaptation of” and “inspired by”) since the inaugural 1917 silent film by Robert G Vignola, plus about a dozen for the stage. You would be forgiven for suggesting that Charles Dickens’s 1861 bestseller has delighted us long enough and that perhaps it is time for another author to get a look-in. (Or you could start by adapting a different Dickens. Hard Times might go down well. It has been 10 years since the last Nicholas Nickleby).

This year’s Great Expectations is the work of the Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and stars Olivia Colman as Miss Havisham. She appears only in the final few scenes of the opening episode, which was the only one available for review, but it is clear that Colman is her predictably excellent self; there is a risk she will reduce everything else to filler while viewers await her next mesmerising appearance.

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