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Filmclub - Pupil reviews - Great ExpectationsLife is beautiful

Great Expectations

Director: David Lean

Starring: John Mills, Jean Simmons, Alec Guinness

Certificate: PG

Out now on DVD

Rating: 5 out of 5

Great Expectations is a black and white film. I used to be put off by black and white films because I thought they would be boring and old-fashioned, but that was before I had seen any.

If you think about it, Great Expectations works better in black and white than it would in colour. There are some scenes in which you are looking at the main character, Pip, and he is in shadow; you can't see any of his features, but behind him you can see all the details. And in the first few scenes Pip is on the marshes next to his house, going to the graveyard because his mother and father are dead and he wants to put flowers on their grave. If that had been in colour it wouldn't have had the same effect and been as scary and tense.

Great Expectations was originally a book by Charles Dickens. Personally I think this film version is a lot better than the film adapation of Oliver! Because the characters are so real, I feel I could meet them on the street. And it makes me quite sad that I can't meet them on the street, because I would like to. In some scenes it makes you feel worried or sad or happy.

There is a lot of character progress in the film. For example, Magwitch, a criminal - but I don't think I should go into that because it might spoil it for you. I highly recommend seeing this film.

Joseph Heber Percy, nine, Great Bedwyn School, Wiltshire

Life is Beautiful

Director: Roberto Benigni

Starring: Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, Giorgio Cantarini

Certificate: PG

Out now on DVD

Rating: 5 out of 5

I really loved this film. I think foreign films are so beautiful and after a while I can concentrate on the film and subtitles at the same time, so it is not difficult to watch.

This film was very funny, really sad but lovely because even though they end up in a terrible situation, the father tries his best to make sure his son does not get scared or worry. Surprisingly, I managed not to cry at this film but still thought it was very emotional and moving.

The main character, Guido, is an amazing actor and kept me laughing through most of the movie. It's a charming film that shows the beauty of Italy through its characters and sets. I seriously recommend this film to anyone because I don't think there was any bad language in it so would be suitable for most ages. However, the Holocaust theme might be hard for some younger people to understand.

Jasmine Aldred, 14, St Bernard's Catholic High, Cumbria

Filmclub, an educational charity supported by Lovefilm, sets up after-school clubs where children meet to watch, discuss and review thought-provoking films. Each week members of Filmclub will review everything from new releases to classic and world cinema. Free to state schools. Find out more at www.filmclub.orgregister.

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