Knife Fight of the Adulterous Women

Keira Knightley stars  in Joe Wright’s bold, theatrical new vision of  Anna Karenina,
an Alliance Films release Credit: Laurie Sparham.
Ottawa's two best theatres will be having a showdown between the two best films I've seen this year. Joe Wright's Anna Karenina, my favourite film at TIFF 2012, opens tonight at The ByTowne (and SilverCity Glucester, but their admission is $5 more and their popcorn is terrible). Meanwhile, Sarah Polley's NFB-produced doc Stories We Tell, easily the best film I have seen since TIFF, gets its second run in Ottawa at The Mayfair. In addition to sharing mild thematic parallels, Anna Karenina and Stories We Tell deserve to be sitting in the top tier of the year because they are the two boldest, most refreshingly innovative experiments in film form for 2012. Interestingly enough, I struggled in choosing between these two films at TIFF because they premiered at the same time on the first Friday of the festival. (Stories had an Ottawa released scheduled, but Anna did not, hence why I chose Anna.) Anna Karenina and Stories We Tell are now in a head-to-head fight for my pick for best film of 2012. I'll have to revisit both films this week and see which one ends up on top. The bigger face-off, perhaps, will be the contest between ByTowne popcorn and Mayfair popcorn. Popcorn forks, aweigh!
Scene from Stories We Tell. Photo credit: Ken Woroner, courtesy of the NFB