Mr. Pip

Mr. Pip is a 2012 New Zealand film, set in Papua New Guinea, based on Lloyd Jones' novel Mister Pip. Andrew Adamson wrote the film adaption, which he also directed.[5] Hugh Laurie played Mr. Watts.[6]

Mr. Pip
Theatrical release poster
Directed byAndrew Adamson
Produced byAndrew Adamson
Robin Scholes
Leslie Urdang
Dean Vanech
Written byAndrew Adamson
Based onMister Pip
by Lloyd Jones
StarringHugh Laurie
Healesville Joel
Eka Darville
Kerry Fox
Music byTim Finn
Harry Gregson-Williams
CinematographyJohn Toon
Edited bySim Evan-Jones
Olympus Pictures
New Zealand Film Commission
Daydream Productions
NZ On Air
Eyeworks Pictures
Distributed byFocus Features
Freestyle Releasing [1]
Release date
Running time
115 minutes
CountryPapua New Guinea
New Zealand
Tok Pisin
Box office$977,855[4]


In 1989, as a war rages on in the province of Bougainville—then called North Solomons—in Papua New Guinea, Mr. Watts (Hugh Laurie), the only white man left on the island after a blockade, re-opens the local school. He begins reading the Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations, which transfixes a young girl named Matilda (Xzannjah). She finds comfort in the story of a Victorian orphan, Pip (Eka Darville), when her own world is falling apart. The "Redskins", an army sent to destroy the local rebels, are getting closer. Matilda writes "Pip" in the sand. This simple act leads to terrible consequences when the Redskins suspect Pip to be a rebel leader and demand he be brought before them.


  • Hugh Laurie as Tom Watts
  • Xzannjah Matsi as Matilda Naimo
  • Healesville Joel as Dolores Naimo
  • Eka Darville as Pip
  • TaPiwa Soropa as Startop
  • Kerry Fox as June Watts
  • Florence Korokoro as Grace Watts
  • David Kaumara as the Redskins lead officer
  • Kausibona Mel as Daniel
  • Sam Simiha as Sam
  • Marcellin Ampa'oi as Joseph Naimo


Mr. Pip was filmed in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea and in New Zealand: on 29 and 30 July 2011 it was filmed at Glendowie College, and at a flight training centre at Albert Street, Auckland; the historic precinct of Oamaru represented Dickens' London,[7] Richard Pearse Airport at Timaru represented the Mount Isa Airport at Queensland,[8] and Kingsland Railway Station in Auckland represented Gravesend Station in England.

Post-production started in November–December 2011 at Park Road Post in Wellington, New Zealand, ready for release in 2012. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The trailer was released in April 2013, and the film opened in cinemas on 3 October.[9]


The film received mixed reviews. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 44% of critics gave the film a positive review, with an average rating of 6 out of 10.[10]

Dennis Harvey of Variety said that the film "Like fellow Kiwi Peter Jackson, Andrew Adamson has followed a run of large-scale fantasy entertainments (two "Shreks", two "Narnias") by adapting an inspirational-uplift literary novel". Harvey also wrote "This gimmicky story set during Papua New Guinea's civil war reaches for emotional effect in a fatally hamfisted fashion".

A writer on The New Zealand Herald gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, saying "it's a joy". The review also applauded Laurie's portrayal stating "He enters the frame sad and distracted, but watching him come to life as he reads, is a treat." He ends his review calling the film "Smart and cinematically adventurous".


  2. "Two Movies Filmed in New Zealand Premiering at Toronto International Film Festival". Ottawa, Canada: New Zealand High Commission. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  3. "Making Music for Mr Pip". New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Retrieved 31 January 2015.
  4. "Mr. Pip". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  5. "Andrew Adamson to direct adaptation of Mister Pip". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  6. White, James. "Hugh Laurie Attached To Mister Pip". Empire. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  7. David Bruce (8 June 2011). "Oamaru locations for 'Mister Pip'".
  8. Rosa Studholme (13 August 2011). "Mr. Pip shoot starts in South Canterbury".
  9. "Mr Pip trailer". 3 News NZ. 22 April 2013.
  10. "Mr. Pip". 7 November 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
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