Monday, November 19, 2012

From Paper to Screen: 'Silver Linings Playbook,' 'Anna Karenina' and 'Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2'

It's going to be another short one this week, I'm afraid, as I'm working on about two hours of sleep.

This week's films were all adaptations of novels, but only one of them got it right. David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" is another idiosyncratic blend of comedy and drama. The performances are all solid and the script manages to be funny, intense and occasionally a bit moving. Needless to say, this was my pick of the week.

Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" is, alas, less successful. And it shouldn't have been. Tolstoy's masterpiece offers up plenty of drama, tragedy and fantastic characters, but they are all overshadowed by the picture's emphasis on style over substance. Why exactly does the entire film appear to have been shot on a stage, albeit a very lavish one? And why does everyone freeze when the lead characters enter a room? It's not a bad film, but just a miscalculation.

"Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2" is, on the one hand, very likely the best of the series. That being said, I still can't wholeheartedly recommend it. Its first half is pretty similar to the past four films, but the second half lightens up a bit and has a fairly clever ending.

Here are my Patch reviews.

This coming weekend's selections include "Life of Pi," "Rust and Bone," "Hitchcock" and "Red Dawn."

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