AS a boy, orphan Pip (Jeremy Irvine) has a disturbing encounter with escaped convict Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes) in the marshes close to the home he shares with his haughty sister (Sally Hawkins) and her husband (Jason Flemyng).
The boy agrees to steal food for Magwitch but police eventually apprehend the suspect. Soon after, the boy is dispatched to visit the reclusive Miss Havisham (Helena Bonham Carter), who requires a playmate for her ward, Estella (Holliday Grainger).
At first, Pip is scared of Miss Havisham, clad in her wedding dress. Once Pip meets Estella, fear is replaced by infatuation and he falls under the spell of the girl.
Some years later, lawyer Mr Jaggers (Robbie Coltrane) informs Pip that a mysterious benefactor has paid for the lad to become a gentleman.
Pip excitedly takes up lodgings with Herbert Pocket (Olly Alexander) and slowly gains a foothold in London society, where he crosses paths once again with Estella and cannot conceal the torch he still carries for her.