Mr. Pip is one of those novels that I have seen on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, picked up several times, and never actually got around to buying. In the finest tradition of movies making me want to read the book they are based on, the recent trailer for Andrew Adamson’s Mr. Pip adaptation looks really inspiring, not least because it stars Hugh Laurie. And who does not love Hugh Laurie?
Hugh Laurie plays Mr. Watts, a white teacher who begins teaching Dickens to the poor of the island of Bougainville. One of his pupils, Matilda (Xzannjah) is inspired by the lead character Pip of Great Expectations as a source of hope and escape from the violence that surrounds her. But a misunderstanding with the local army because of the book leads to greater violence, when Pip is mistaken for a secret rebel leader.
The trailer makes a lot of the relationship between Mr. Watts and Matilda, and of Dickens as a source of hope and encouragement for people living in danger and poverty. That is, after all, what Dickens was all about. Director Adamson is best known for his adaptation of The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, so he’s got good literary adaptation cred. The book by Lloyd Jones garnered a number of prizes when it was released too. As far as this trailer goes, it looks like the film of Mr. Pip will more than do it justice.
Mr. Pip has failed to find a domestic distributor since it premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Hopefully this trailer from Paramount New Zealand will inspire a studio to pick it up. After all: Hugh Laurie!
While you wait with bated breath for the distribution of Mr. Pip, you can check out the trailer below and let us know what you think in the comments.