Mr. Pip

Mr. Pip

(2012)

Fiction can be dangerous in times of war.

Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles of Narnia) directs Hugh Laurie in this drama set during the 1990s civil war in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, following one girl's fascination with the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. Adapted from the acclaimed 2006 novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones.... More

Shattered by the war over copper mining, Bougainville's teachers have fled. But the eccentric Mr. Watts (Laurie) has remained, the object of much curiosity and scorn who sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and begins to read Dickens’ classic to the students. 14-year-old Matilda (Xzannjah), is transported into the Victorian world, finding inspiration in it while her everyday life is filled with harsh uncertainty as the realities of the civil war come to her village.Hide

On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray

Available from 3 providers

Flicks Review

Kiwi director Andrew Adamson has a gift for the fantastical, what with the huge success of the Shrek and Narnia films. With Mr. Pip, he shows sensitivity for epic, emotional drama too. Faithfully adapting the moving Lloyd Jones award-winning novel Mister Pip, this is a fairly earnest retelling of one girl’s life-changing encounter with a mysterious teacher, who reads Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations to her otherwise educationally barren classroom in late-80s, war-torn Bougainville.... More

One of the biggest challenges must have been how to tell the story of the man telling a story without him having to constantly tell the story. Adamson cleverly gets around this by illustrating Matilda’s thoughts with her own filtered ideal of the Dickensian world. Cue striking images of an island paradise transformed into a tropical version of London, Matilda and Pip in colourful finery. It’s exactly what you’d imagine her version of the story would be.

It’s also a pleasure to see Papua New Guinea on the big screen, and Adamson, who spent his teenaged years there, offers a loving ode to its beauty and culture, using the stunning setting, and all its delightful details – crabs, ants, shimmering water – to great effect. But ultimately the performances steal the show. Hugh Laurie as the children’s teacher Mr Watts is both hauntingly sad and inspiring, and the captivating Xzannjah as Matilda is a natural. My only criticism is that it could’ve benefited from a little more levity. However, Adamson has cut some of the bleaker scenes, delivering a film that still delivers a punch to the gut.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 4 ratings, 5 reviews
Reviewed & Rated by
Your rating & review
Rate / Review this movie

BY Rae nobody

It was as frustrating and surreal as this movie denotes. Is it entertaining? That seems to me to be secondary to the fact that these times and scenarios were taking place. I lived there and was evacuated off the island during those times. There are stories that are much stranger than fiction, and so much more unbelievable. This tells the times typically, and shows the importance Bougainvilleans placed (and still do) on Education. As it saw places I knew so well in the Film, I felt it all... More again. But in the end, it is a film of hope. As a former teacher there, I have been told more than once, "...they (those in the crisis) can take away all my possesions, my family and loved ones, but the one think I take to the grave, is my education, and I will use it to rise again...."Hide


BY Weds_Loafers superstar

Six Loafers went to see "Mr Pip"; only two of us had read the book. This is a terrific movie. Both of us who had read the book (Cushla and me) thought the film did a great job of bringing the story to the screen. Those who hadn't just thought it was a great movie! The casting is brilliant. Hugh Laurie is perfect as "Popeye" Watts and the actor who plays Matilda steals the movie. Nice to see stories on the screen from our neck of the woods. We ranged from 4 stars to 5 with an average 4.5. Do see... More it!Hide


BY StevieD nobody

This is a great Movie and totally absorbing! We (NZ) have a history with Bougainville and is worth learning a little & this helps. I highly recommend seeing this one!


It´s absolutely fantastic really wonderfull!!!


BY emmaslie grader

Make sure you see this. It balanced a very careful line especially around some sensitive subjects. This was fantastic!


The Press Reviews

63% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • It's a joy. Full Review

  • Adamson mixes magical realism with hard-hitting historical drama in a way that feels both contrived and questionable, even if the filmmakers clearly have their hearts in the right place. Full Review

  • This gimmicky story set during Papua New Guinea's civil war reaches for emotional effect in a fatally hamfisted fashion. Full Review

  • I love films that surprise me and this heartfelt and unexpectedly powerful film that uses Great Expectations as a catalyst for inspiration, certainly does that. Full Review

The Talk
90 %

Want to see it

What say you?
Movies like this one