Opening in limited theatrical release today is director Andrew Adamson’s (“Shrek,” “The Chronicles of Narnia”) drama “Mr Pip,” which is based on the award-winning novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones. It’s named after the chief character in Dickens’ novel.
Living under the shadow of the Papa New Guinean civil war, a young girl (her name is Matilda) forms a unique bond with an eccentric schoolteacher, over their shared love for Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations.”
“Mister Pip” is the story of a girl caught in the throes of war on the island of Bougainville. It is through the guidance of her devoted but strict Christian mother and teacher that Matilda survives but more importantly, through her connection with the fictional character Pip, who helps Matilda maintain a desire to live, especially after her mother, the wise Mr. Watts, and her island cease to exist.
Matilda is played by in the film by Xzannjah; and Hugh Laurie (Dr Gregory House, the protagonist of TV series “House”) plays Mr Watts – the only white man left on the island after most left. He’s said to have a mysterious history that many of the islanders are curious about. He teaches the children of the island, each day reading a chapter of “Great Expectations.”
I’d probably be more interested in this if the seemingly ubiquitous *white man* wasn’t present in, or central to the narrative. But c’est la vie… this is the film that was made.
TIFF (where the film premiered in the fall of 2012) called it “a lusciously beautiful adaptation” of Lloyd Jones’ novel.
Previously released in New Zealand and Australia, “Mr Pip” won New Zealand Film & TV Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.
Freestyle Releasing, Freestyle Digital Media and Dominion Pictures acquired USA theatrical and DVD/VOD rights to “Mr Pip,” and are opening it today, November 7, in a limited theatrical release and on all digital platforms.
Check out the first trailer below: