EMPIRE OF THE SUN
1987, Warner Bros., 152 min, USA, Dir: Steven Spielberg

Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tom Stoppard created one of their most ambitious and acclaimed works with this adaptation of J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel. A young Christian Bale stars as a boy growing up in Shanghai, where he lives a sheltered life until the Japanese invasion separates him from his parents and changes his life forever. In Spielberg's hands, the result is a character study that is epic and intimate in equal parts, with a stirring score by John Williams.


ANNA KARENINA
2012, Focus Features, 130 min, UK, Dir: Joe Wright

The latest collaboration between director Joe Wright and actress Keira Knightley is this adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s acclaimed novel about love and infidelity in 19th-century Russia. Knightley shines in the title role as the wife of a government official (Jude Law) who is drawn to the aristocratic Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). But as Anna and her paramour pursue an illicit affair, their love may be unable to surmount the treacherous terrain of high society. Tom Stoppard’s nuanced screenplay and Wright’s visionary staging (featuring truly spectacular costume and production design) breathe new life into this classic. With Kelly Macdonald and Emily Watson.


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