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I’ve loved Joe Wright movies since falling under the spell of his version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. He found a way to take this oft-filmed story and give it a refreshing immediacy that focused and complemented Jane Austen’s singular wit. His ATONEMENT (interview with Wright and James McAvoy here) is as near perfect a film as can be imagined, from its score that referenced the clacking of typewriter keys, to the way that love is both an apotheosis and a damnation. HANNA (interview with Wright and Saorsie Ronan here) took fairy tales and parental angst and turned them into a bracing, and bracingly intelligent, action film that made the flossing of teeth a potent symbol of obsession. ANNA KARENINA? He deconstructed it, found the essence, and turned it into an arch exercise in surrealism that translates the prose into visual imagery that is both shorthand and annotation. He even, in my interview with him (listen here) for the film, pointed out where Tolstoy went wrong. And made it stick.
And so it is with no small excitement that I look forward to his next film, DARKEST HOUR, a look at Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) as he prepares to become Prime Minister, and debates a peace treaty with the Nazis as World War II looms. Trailer below.
My interview with Gary Oldman, btw, for TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY can be heard here.