As a boy, orphan Pip (Jeremy Irvine) has a disturbing encounter with escaped convict Magwitch (Ralph Fiennes).

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.