Fast-Acting Armitage Effect and Two Upcoming BBC “Great Expectations” Projects

My favorite episode of Robin Hood Season 3 is “A Dangerous Deal” (YT link) where Guy encounters a young woman named Meg in the dungeon.

Once her disdain gives way to sympathy due to some fast-acting Armitage effect, Meg falls in love with Guy and rescues him from imprisonment and death. In turn, she reminds him of what he thought Marian once was: the one person who cared whether he lived or died.

Mortally wounded in the chaos of their escape, Meg dies in Guy’s arms on a misty riverside bank. Before she dies, he acquiesces to her last request and gives her a chaste kiss. What a way to go.

The actress who plays Meg, Holliday Grainger, had played Armitage’s stepdaughter in Sparkhouse.

Grainger has recently been cast as Estella in the upcoming BBC Films adaptation of Great Expectations, which Mike Newell will direct. Relatively unknown actor Jeremy Irvine will be PipRalph Fiennes will be Magwitch, and Helena Bonham-Carter will continue her witchy ways as Miss Havisham.

Today, Variety announced that, oddly enough, there will also be a BBC television production of Great Expectations with Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. PBS has scheduled this Masterpiece release for April 2012 for U.S. audiences. No word yet on Estella or Pip casting.

I am fond of the gorgeously green Alfonso Cuaron adaptation from the ’90s, despite the unconvincingly contemporization of the story and overwrought acting. I love the look of the film. Cuaron attired the actors in various shades of green and used the lush environment of Florida to create an otherworldly setting for the story. It’s no wonder that Cuaron directed the most “magical” Harry Potter film in the series—Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. (Coincidentally, Newell directed the next Harry Potter film in the series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

In Cuaron’s version of Great Expectations, Finn (aka Pip) is a blue-collar fisherman and amateur artist who comes to New York due to the patronage of a mysterious benefactor. For Finn’s work, Italian painter Francesco Clemente created original art for the film. His striking portraits of the characters are the centerpiece of Finn’s art show.

The film soundtrack features the enchanting song “Life in Mono” by Mono, “Siren,” an original track by Tori Amos, and a beautiful score by Patrick Doyle.

The “Kissing in the Rain” scene is the highlight of the film, particularly because of Doyle’s music (the track shows up in many YT kissing fanvideos). I can’t find it on YT in English, but all you need to know is that Estella leaves a black-tie gala event and Finn chases after her and interrupts her dinner date by asking her to dance.

Note the green elements: the carpet at the gala venue, the columns, the tea lights in the restaurant, the attire of the other customers.

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3 thoughts on “Fast-Acting Armitage Effect and Two Upcoming BBC “Great Expectations” Projects

  1. This special Robin Hood episode is my favourite as well! RA is absolutely stunning what he can express alone with his voice, let alone with the minimalistic expressions on his face visible in the dark cellar. In total he reaches an absolutely stunning effect. I always hate, when the other parts of the RH episode are put in between and the cellar scene is cut off.
    Great Expectations as a film I only know in the BBC adaption of 1999 with Ioan Gruffudd as Pip. I very much liked that version.
    Thank you for the link to the modern version!

  2. You’re welcome CDoart! 🙂

    Oh yes – the careful way he flicks the maggots off of his bread, how his voice breaks when he says “I destroyed her – I destroyed everything” and how he then recovers himself and says “Go on.” Such a masterful display of shifting emotions!

  3. Pingback: Thoughts on Vogue: Emma Watson’s Lads, Armitage Speculation, and Downton Abbey Ladies « darlingdarling blog

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