Saturday, 31 December 2011

Fairly average expectations

I'm generally uncertain about Dickens. I have read A Christmas Carol, a story so familiar that it would be difficult to hold the author's constant overuse of commas against the general bonhomie of the tale.

I got stuck two thirds of the way through Oliver Twist. I don't know if it's just me, but page after page of long winded descriptions of unrelenting child abuse and ridiculously named characters didn't endear me to the scruffy little tyke.

I loathe the way he names his characters and I am uncomfortable with the rampant anti semitic descriptions of Fagin. But most of all, I was bored. Bored shitless. I know vaguely that it all comes right for Oliver in the end and I just couldn't care enough about the bits inbetween. I also can't read it without visions of Ollie Reed reeling about and singing songs about picking pockets. Oliver Twist has essentially been ruined by its own success.

So it was with a general air of gritted teeth that I agreed to watch Great Expectations with my mother. Mostly to get her to stop reading this blog and therefore seeing the one about the twat who was horny. I just don't need that kind of stress in my life.

Gillian Anderson played Miss Haversham perfectly. Someone once said I was like Miss Haversham, which I think is a bit harsh. I clean my house at least twice a year and I've thrown out the wedding dress. But Gillian. Who would have thought back in the day when she was trying to maintain some kind of sexual chemistry with David Duchovny she'd turn into an immense period actress?

The actor who played Pip (no idea who is he and can't be bothered to check) reminded me uncomfortably of the angular faced lad who plays Edward Cullen. I kept expecting him to sparkle unconvincingly every now and again and try and find the mopey goth girl in the corner for dry humping and angsty conversations. He was the dullest part of it, which is not how it should be. I'm pretty sure we should be bewitched by Pip and be rooting for him. But Pip's a bit of a dick. He turns his back on his poor relations and lords it up for a bit on the back of a fortune left to him by an unknown benefactor. He assumes it's Miss Haversham. Turns out it was Magwitch, who is THE best character in the entire thing bar none.

Ray Winstone was cuddly and lovely as the sometimes murderous but kind hearted criminal and I adored him. Strange choice of wig, but other than that, just gorgeous.

So far, this has been my favourite Dickens experience which I rounded off by watching the always ace Sue Perkins narrate a documentary about his wife. He was a right cunt by all accounts. Spent most of the time trying to get off with her sisters and made her pregnant about 20 times. I knew there was something off about him.

Bleak House is my last roll of the Dickens die... we shall see


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