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Non-Review Review: Anna Karenina (2012)

All the world is a stage, literally for Joe Wright’s adaptation of Tolstoy’s classic novel. Anna Karenina is visually stunning, and perfectly put together, doing a workman-like job of condensing Tolstoy’s 800-page doorstopper into a film running justover two hours. The wonderfully inventive idea of staging the film entirely in a theatre – from the foyer to the rafters to the stage itself – gives Wright the opportunity to showcase his talent as one of the finest working directors today. Tom Stoppard’s scripts is dripping with wit and does an excellent job providing digestible chunks of Tolstoy’s epic and a fair few pithy one-liners. Unfortunately, this is countered by the fact that the film never feels like it’s quite enough, and in particular the fact that its central figure feels like a shadow cast against a back wall rather than a three-dimensional character.

Save the last dance…

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Non-Review Review: Pulp Fiction

It’s strange. I always feel a flutter of uncertainty when I prepare to tackle a film I hold in particularly high esteem on this blog. Perhaps it’s the fact that I worry I might not be entirely objective, or perhaps it’s the fear that I’ll embarrass myself with a particular film, or perhaps it’s just the worry that I really don’t have anything worth committing to the internet. Pulp Fiction is a film that has been loved and hated, picked apart and put back together, critiqued and venerated, and I’m really not sure that I have any particularly insightful observations to make about Quentin Tarantino’s palme d’or winning film.

I'll be brief...

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Arcadia at the Gate Theatre

Arcadia is great. It’s a wonderfully dense, witty work from writer Tom Stoppard. The Gate production is, as one would expect, top notch, and the play seems to suit the surroundings of the theatre, with its lavish set design and production values. Whether you’re looking to wrap your head around something stimulating, or simply looking for an entertaining night at the theatre, you could do a lot worse than Arcadia.

Don't worry, he doesn't lay the maths on too hard...

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