People who are putting down Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina for being stylistically outside the box and therefore not approval-worthy are pedestrian-minded philistines. They’re saying “whoa, this is different and audacious and so it sucks!” There’s no lamer response to artistic experimentation than this. These people need more than scolding, I’m afraid. They need to be taken outside, bent over the woodpile and — no offense — spanked.

At least MCN’s David Poland gets it: “I am not, generally, a Joe Wright fan,” he wrote yesterday. “I think he’s gotten some nice performances from actors in the past, but has lost me on efforts at big style. Here, it’s big style from start to finish and I bought into it. Not everyone will. But I think there are enough people who will be pleased that it could well find a Best Picture slot at year’s end.” Thank you!