Cuarón’s boldly expressionist take on Great Expectations resounds with a visceral immediacy. Ethan Hawke plays the film’s modernized Pip, rechristened as Finn, a budding painter raised by his elder sister and her boyfriend (Chris Cooper) in working-class coastal Florida. When a gallery owner in New York offers Finn a solo show out of the blue, he travels north to pursue his art and the memory of his first love (Gwyneth Paltrow), now firmly embedded among Manhattan’s elite. With original artwork by Francesco Clemente, a period-appropriate soundtrack featuring Tori Amos and Pulp, and unforgettable turns from Anne Bancroft and Robert De Niro, Cuarón’s reinvigorated spin on this story of class and identity emphasizes the ragged emotion at its heart.
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