The Hard Problem

The Hard Problem
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Cast: Olivia Vinall, Damien Molony, Anthony Calf, Eloise Webb, Daisy Jacob, Parth Thakerar, Vera Chok, Rosie Hilal, Lucy Robinson, Jonathan Coy, Kristin Atherton
Seen on: 16.04.2015

Psychology student Hilary (Olivia Vinall) is working on her thesis with her tutor Spike (Damien Molony). Hilary is convinced that there is something more to life than science and materialism, that there is something godly, whereas Spike is an absolutely materialistic and completely atheistic. But Hilary’s view helps her to secure a job at the renouned Krohl Institute for Brain Science when she answers the Hard Problem – whether consciousness can be completely explained by science – with no. There is a reason for Hilary’s insistence on something bigger than science, one that makes her pray every night for a miracle.

The Hard Problem is a brainy, well-acted and well-directed play that ends up a little too much on the sentimental side but is otherwise extremely enjoyable.

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Anna Karenina (2012)

Anna Karenina
Director: Joe Wright
Writer: Tom Stoppard
Based on: Leo Tolstoy‘s novel (which I wrote about very shortly here)
Cast: Keira Knightley, Aaron Johnson, Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams, Holliday Grainger, Emily Watson, Michelle Dockery, Steve Evets, Bill Skarsgard

Anna (Keira Knightley) has been married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law) for quite a while. It’s a marriage of convenience, but one that works quite well. Anna gives all her love to their son and seems content. That is, until she travels to Moscow to reconcile her brother Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) with his wife Dolly (Kelly Macdonald) on whom he cheated. In Moscow, Anna meets Alexei Vronsky (Aaron Johnson), a young count who had been courting Dolly’s sister Kitty (Alicia Vikander), more or less seriously. Anna and Vronsky feel drawn to each other immediately – so much so that Anna basically flees back to St. Petersburg. But Vronsky follows her there, kicking off events that slowly spiral Anna’s life completely out of control.

The movie started and I immediately and irrevocably fell in love with it. And it didn’t disappoint me for one moment. It is a thing of beauty that I could watch over and over again.


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