Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Great Expectations: directed by Alfonso Cuaron

A movie I know that I can always turn to when longing for a 1990's surge, is Alfonso Cuaron's Great Expectations. A spin off from Charles Dickens classic novel. The film is set in modern day NYC. I must admit that I have not read Dickens classic...but it's on my list of future 'to-reads.' 
Finnegan Bell's portrait of Estella during their teenage years.
All of the paintings and artwork shown in the film are works of Francesco Clemente.
(Source link)

Francisco Clemente is a contemporary Italian painter, whose career embellished since the release of Great Expectations, ever since then his work has received recognition on a global scale. He is renown for working with artists such as Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Bassquiat.

Francesco Clemente's portraits posed as Finnegan Bell's in the film.
Truly this is a beautiful story. Romantic if you will, quite sultry, but also provides a sense of adventure and mystery. Orphan and protagonist Finnegan Bell (Ethan Hawk) falls for the oppressed rich Miss Dinsmore's (Anne Bancroft) niece, the beautiful Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow). Miss Dinsmore hires Finn to play with her niece while she visits her in Florida during the summer. Since Estella was born she was raised to make men weep, twirl them around her finger, without investing any emotions of her own. Finn was an exception, he was an artist, light hearted, good dancer, and would do anything for her. But this could never be enough for Estella. This is a story about a boy who loved an unreachable girl.

Water fountain kiss. Young Finn and Estella.

First dance lesson.
Love Estella's adorable ballet shoes and Rapunzelesque locks.
And then it begins...
A mysterious benefactor makes it possible for Finn's dreams to come true as a famous artist. This person is not revealed until the end. Making it so that Finn is no longer just scraping by, but is now an up and coming NYC artist with a to-die-for artist's loft on the Hudson River.  
Sexy-streetside-kissing in the rain scene.

Estella in Finn's loft.

The roots of the film was set in the late 70's Florida gulf so the imagery is very nautical, and lush with a twist of fruit punch. Aside from the beautiful artwork and cinematography of the film, glamour-puss, basket case, Miss Dinsmore rocks a swanky, gypsy-like style where wigs, rouge, excessive eyeliner, and Iris Apfel style necklaces aren't out of the norm. Always with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. This lady has some serious s-t-y-l-e. Chica boom! Dancing to the beat of her own drum, I secretly aspire to acquire this level of sass when I am a woman of her age.
Dinsmore: "Do you feel that?"
Finn: "Feel what?"
Dinsmore: "That!"
Finn: "Um your boob?"
Dinsmore: "No. My heart..and it's broken."
"Feel it!"
Cuaron uses a primary color scheme of deep green, which is evident throughout the film. Miss Dinsmore and Estella are always dressed in rich jade and juniper hued frocks that makes their relationship between one another and Finn very symbolic.  Miss Dinsmore's wardrobe defines her character to a tee; a lonely old maid, who was left at the altar on her wedding day, who hasn't left her home in decades, saucy, and bitter with sadness, with no one in her life except for her darling niece Estella. Miss Dinsmore has a burning hatred for the male sex ever since her wedding day and her role as a sporadic guardian for Estella has taken it's toll on Estella's perception of Finn. 

On top of the film's A+ cast, cinematography, and wardrobe, it also has a killer soundtrack. Some serious zeitgeist reppin' the 1990's. Portishead's "Life in Mono" was made the theme song of Great Expectations during their trip hop period. The sound acclimated gracefully to fit the film like a puzzle piece. Another reason why this is a must-see.

1 comment:

  1. Amo esse filme! Suas cores, seus artistas, seu enredo. Perfeito