by Jackson Posted: March 21st, 2013 at 12:00 am
Tackling a seminal work of fiction always presents a filmmaker with a unique set of challenges, even more so than book adaptations in general. For director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard on Anna Karenina, those included not only condensing a mammoth book into a slightly over two-hour movie but doing so in a manner that stood out from the numerous previous adaptations. The result is a mixed bag with many parts to love individually but a whole that simply falls short.
Parade’s End, a new five-part miniseries adaptation by Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead) of Ford Maddox Ford’s novels, is everything viewers wanted from Downton Abbey‘s second season, but didn’t get. Whereas Downton Abbey shunted the First World War to the side (and created it as a place where one could just jaunt home every weekend or whenever one felt like it),Parade’s End uses it as a centerpiece dramatically and emotionally. The Edwardian period has regained a huge amount of popularity lately, mostly thanks to Downton, but even if you’re growing tired of costume dramas and staid portrayals of a bygone era of England, whose opulance is beyond anything we could imagine, don’t overlook Parade’s End. It will absolutely not let you down. Hit the jump for more about the adaptation, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), Rebecca Hall (The Town) and Adelaide Clemens (The Great Gatsby).
Director Joe Wright is currently doing press for his upcoming film Hanna, an action-thriller which looks like a big departure from his breakthrough film, 2005′s Pride & Prejudice. However, Wright isn’t leaving the world of classic literature adaptations behind as he tells About.com that he hopes to shoot Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina in the fall. But how does he hope to translate the 864-page tome into a feature film? Wright says it’s no problem when you’ve got Oscar-winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) working on the script:
“He’s done an amazing script which involves Levin’s story as well as Anna’s story. Yeah, Tom Stoppard is just..also, he’s so immersed in Russian history and culture and identity or lack of it.”
Hit the jump for Wright’s explanation of how he plans to make 19th-century Russian family accessible to today’s audiences and who he sees as Anna.