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Joe Wright - 'Anna Karenina'
Pro: More so than “Pride and Prejudice” or even “Atonement,” Wright's ambitiously stylized “Anna Karenina” is nothing if not a feat of brazen directorial gumption. Setting Tolstoy's mammoth Russian epic within the shifting confines of a theater seemed a grand folly on paper, but there's no denying that Wright has pulled it off with technical aplomb; even detractors admit that it's a dazzling crafts showcase, and someone's responsible for putting that all together.
Con: Hyped by many as a potential heavyweight contender, “Anna Karenina” cooled significantly after its Toronto premiere: reviews were mixed, with many critics admiring of its construction but unmoved by the whole. In its home territory of the UK, box office was disappointing, lowering its stock with the vital BAFTA contingent. Meanwhile, Wright missed out on an Oscar nod five years ago when “Atonement” snagged a Best Picture nod – have his peers not quite embraced him?
- Guy Lodge