Written July 04, 2015
Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) is an iconic, archival author; his books, required reading in higher education; "War and Peace"(1860's) a massive epic, still resides comfortably in the annuals of finest historical novels ever composed; his genius unquestioned, forever lionized...
"Anna Karenina" (1875) written at a time when women where chattel; had no power or control over their destinies or the unexpected whims of their hearts; shackled in man-made conventions, rules, restrictions (as crippling as their corsets). "Anna" is woman felled by love and life: married at eighteen, unfamiliar with disruptive, all-consuming passion, marches precipitously towards her sealed fate. She is tragic, but in the twenty-first century, rather stale...
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Written January 26, 2015
Definitely not your usual costume drama. And what costumes they were. A mix of contemporary haute couture to a twist on period 1860's+. The men and the women looked fantastic. This movie was a feast on a huge gluttonous groaning board. Transfixed I couldn't get up and had to call for the feather and bucket and feast some more. At times I shook my head....is this a ballet is this a movie is this theatre of the absurd? I was immersed in it despite it's being a bit twee and over the top. I got it, I'm in the business and appreciated what it was doing and was happily along for the surealistic ride. At one point K.Knightly's strings of saliva were a queezy distraction and I found myself swallowing overly much. But that is my pecadillo, moist mouths with too much spittle (shudder). But I dwell too much upon the surface. Her passionate dilemma, his complacency well played engendering sympathy. I supposed her attraction to the very young "dashing" Count. Though as a foil he appeared immature.
Written July 01, 2015
And Anna Karenina makes good use of that concept. An very beautiful, poetic, and supple rendering of a massive novel. My one qualm is that Knightley, although gorgeous and the stuff that dreams are made of, is perhaps a bit too frosty to be convincing as anything other than headstrong; she conveys stuborness more than hopeless love.
Jude Law is wonderful as the man who gives every opportunity for redemption, although it is hard to believe that Jude Law is the least sexy man in the room.
The music is just right; not intrusive, and not tear-jerking.
All in all this is one of the most mature, well developed films I have seen in a while.
Written September 19, 2014
Really disappointing for Knightley fans. The juxtapostion of stage and film was distracting and made a compelling story seem like a bad dream. The period effects were wasted on the unreal, bizarre presentation. There was no real chemistry between Anna and Vronsky, either. I almost fell asleep during the afternoon matinee and found myself checking my watch as to when it would end.
Written January 30, 2015
Beautifully staged, with an operatic feel. Knightly and Law do a wonderful job but the casting of Taylor-Johnson was off the mark. Vronsky is supposed to be the man Anna would risk all for but Taylor-Johnson's effete young soldier didn't inspire passion as much as puzzlement. Why would Anna throw everything away for him? A little hard to follow at times, it helps if one has read the book.