Standing ovation for Kiwi film Mr Pip

Mr Pip, starring Hugh Laurie, has received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Photo / Supplied
Mr Pip, starring Hugh Laurie, has received a standing ovation at the Toronto International Film Festival. Photo / Supplied

New Zealand feature film Mr Pip has received a standing ovation at its premiere in the special presentation section of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Hugh Laurie, the star of the award-winning television series House, plays Mr Watts, a teacher on the war-torn island of Bougainville who reads children Great Expectations.

The novel, written by New Zealander Lloyd Jones, was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

The film is the first independent feature project of Andrew Adamson, the New Zealand filmmaker who directed the Shrek films and wrote, directed and produced The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

"Anyone who has read the novel knows what a stunning story this is," Laurie told TVNZ at the festival.

Adamson said it was a "story about the power of story".

A release date is yet to be set and no trailer has been released for Mr Pip, but early reviews sound promising, with Kerry Doole of Exclaim calling it "well-crafted and frequently moving".

Doole compared young actress Xzannjah Matsi, who plays 12-year-old girl Matilda in the film, to Keisha Castle-Hughes' performance in Whale Rider.

- AAP

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