Anna Karenina

All the world’s a stage – ★★★★

How do you condense a near 1,000 page book into a palatable two hour movie? Well it helps if you have Joe Wright at the helm, Sir Tom Stoppard to adapt the screenplay and stars like Keira Knightley and Domhnall Gleeson on top form.

Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” in a paragraph with no spoilers, I think – It commences with Anna (Keira Knightley) going to the aid of her brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen) to try and convince her sister-in-law Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) not to throw him out. On this journey she first meets Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and eventually succumbs to a torrid love affair in spite of her marriage to Aleksei (Jude Law). Running concurrently to this story is one concerning Oblonsky’s old friend Levin (Donhnall Gleeson) and his love for Kitty (Alicia Vikander) Dolly’s younger sister. Got all that? Good, now on with the review.

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Sun. Dance. [10 to look forward to from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival]

/ See what we did there? It's a stock image of girl DANCING in front of the SUN. Yeah? /

Every year around this time I take a cheeky look at flights to Salt Lake City, Utah.

One of these years I’m actually going to the Sundance Film Festival and try pack in ten days of snow, drinking and independent cinema. But sadly work, money and life commitments mean it won’t be in 2012.

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Sensation

Risky Business - ★★★½

The overriding sensations are those of loneliness, isolation and despair in Tom Hall’s heartfelt feature length directorial debut.

With the opening scene of Domhnall Gleeson masturbating in a field whilst looking after his Dad’s flock of sheep, we realise the film isn’t going to skirt around the subject of sex regarding the modern day male. Domhnall plays Donal (see what they did there) the son of a sheep farmer and the loneliest of all the shepherds in the fair land of Limerick. When his father dies suddenly Donal is left with a surplus of money and decides to spend it by availing of the services that Kim the Kiwi escort (Luanne Gordon) provides. An unlikely partnership forms between the two as they decide to go into business satisfying the needs of the local farming community.

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