thu 25/02/2021

Tom Stoppard

DVD: Anna Karenina

Joe Wright’s screen adaptation of Tolstoy’s giant of a masterpiece, scripted by Tom Stoppard, takes a big risk that pays off: the many-layered late 19th-century novel is stripped to its bare bones with astonishing brio. He sets most of the story in...

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Parade's End, Series Finale, BBC Two

"There used to be among families...a position, a certain...call it 'parade'." So stammered Benedict Cumberbatch's rigidly principled, increasingly broken Christopher Tietjens at the climax of last week's penultimate Parade's End, echoing his own...

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Anna Karenina: The Rave

A curtain rises at the start of Joe Wright’s thrilling film version of Anna Karenina only for the finish several hours later to be accompanied in time-honoured fashion by the words “the end”. But for all the deliberate theatrical artifice of a movie...

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Anna Karenina: The Pan

“You can’t ask why about love,” Aaron Johnson’s Count Vronsky croons tenderly to his beloved, pink lips peeking indecently out through his flasher’s mac of a moustache. Maybe you can’t, but you certainly can ask why you’d take a thousand-page...

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Who On Earth Was Ford Madox Ford?, BBC Two

The verdict may still be out on the BBC’s lavish unfolding drama, Parade’s End, but it’s already done one thing: to bring the name of its writer, Ford Madox Ford, back from the (relative) oblivion where it has been since his death in 1939 (not least...

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Parade's End, BBC Two

Television schedules seem not to matter much any more, since we can now watch on repeat more or less any time we choose. But it still seems strange that the BBC are airing their new five-part period drama, which is part-funded by the HBO network to...

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Václav Havel, 1936-2011

In Rock’n’Roll, the play by Tom Stoppard, two characters haunt the stage without actually appearing on it. One of them, Syd Barrett, absconded from Pink Floyd to lead the life of a hermit. The other, Václav Havel, gave up the life of an...

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Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Theatre Royal Haymarket

Lightning hasn't quite struck twice at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Trevor Nunn's dazzling reclamation of early Terence Rattigan (Flare Path) has been followed by the same director's transfer from Chichester of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are...

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The Real Thing, Old Vic

By general consent, The Real Thing expresses an almost perfect balance between the brilliance of its dialogue and the ideas examined on one hand, and the depth and range of human feelings on the other. Anna Mackmin’s brisk and dynamic take on...

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