Christmas time festivities

December 27, 2012

This past month has been very busy.
Before I left York I had an amazing Winter Formal where we all dressed up, had a ride on the York Eye, and then headed to the beautiful venue for lots of wine, too much food and dancing all night long.

Then we had a floor Christmas Party back on campus which was slightly less glamorous and involved lots more drinking, Christmas jumper wearing, and Secret Santa present sharing.

Finally I took the long journey home for Christmas. I packed up all of my possessions and squeezed them into my bags. I enjoyed the frosty scenery on my way down to London. Next I proceeded to struggle through the tubes with my enormous bags, luckily with the aid of several kind people, before catching my last train home. 

Since then my days have consisted of being reunited with friends, working a few shifts, spending time with the family and eating lots. I started my holiday reading list with Dickens which was enjoyed immensely in the comfort of my own home, with an abundance of tea, clean surfaces, and a floor that doesn't adhere my feet with every step I attempt to take. Luxury.

Here are a few photos of the past days

 The first batch of mince pies!

 Christmas Eve seafood

  Feeling decadent with Roast ham for Christmas Day breakfast

Mulled wine
Which I am going to treat myself to a glass of now along with a night's worth of reading and relaxing. I hope you are all enjoying the holidays!

Great Expectations Film review

December 06, 2012

I recently went to see the new film adaptation of this wonderful book, and reviewed it for my University newspaper. Take a look if you were undecided about watching it.

Film: Great Expectations

Director: Mike Newell
Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter and Robbie Coltrane
Runtime: 128 mins
Star rating: 4 (It has been published as 3, but to be honest I found the rating impossible for the adaptation of such a classic- so the rating is pretty immaterial to me)

The canonical household name, Dickens, has developed, or rather maintained, a warm place in the hearts of the country. The festive period seems to bring a renewal of these sentiments and we experience an influx of Dickensian programmes or film adaptions. So do we really need another version?
Well no, Newell does nothing ground-breaking in adding to the plethora of adaptations, but it is more than enjoyable nonetheless. This version updates and modernises the 1946 black and white film, but fails to shape its own identity.

Most notably, it lacks the tension that should come naturally to a serialised story.
Unfortunately, as is often the case with profoundly rich novels, the ending was rushed. The film felt truncated; particularly in Miss Havisham’s fleeting death, although we are honoured with some unprecedented gore in exchange for the screen time. Characters are omitted, Pip’s generosity towards Herbert Pocket largely unexplored, equally his selfishness and ignorance towards Joe – a heart breaking emotional aspect- is underdeveloped.

The film just wasn’t poignant, emotional or affecting enough. Cruel Pip was almost absent providing a more pleasant viewing, but one awfully less moving. Joe and Pip’s relationship was initially too deliberately emphasised, only to be unforgivingly compromised in the apologetic cowering away from what should be a morally questioning passage.

Carter offered an assertive, original, and believable performance in delivering a woman whose obsession with revenge breaks the hearts of our protagonists. However, she doesn’t instill the fear that Gillian Anderson’s harrowing depiction did- and that such a disturbing character ought. Despite this, all of the acting was as good as we might expect from the experienced cast. Even Pip and Estella’s love story felt convincing and impelling.

In honesty, if this had been more adventurous it would have been condemned as butchering a literary classic. The foundations of the novel are all present they just lack the depth of which a series is capable. So if you’re in want of a Dickensian fix, an enjoyable plot, and consistently impressive acting, you can happily pass your time viewing this latest adaptation.