Written February 23, 2017
It's a crying shame when what is basically a lovely movie, with some of the most gorgeous cinematography and art direction is years, is soured by a horribly-miscast leading role. I refer to Aaron Taylor-Johnson's effeminate and creepy Count Vronsky...looking like the blonde twin of the Colorado Mass Shooter. How on earth can we believe that this creep was the cause of Anna's downfall? The movie started beautifully with the opera-house concept then quickly took a nosedive the moment that Vronsky appears. Additionally, I did not care for some of the odd choreography and wavy hand movements by ballroom dancers in the background -- were they trying to dance the hula? Most distracting. But the worst thing was Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky. His looks and manner just 'kill' the story.
Written October 21, 2016
I liked some of the acting, and the dialog was very good. But the surrealism I found distracting to the story. The music, costumes and cinematography were phenomenal, though.
Written September 26, 2016
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, although at times the stylization reminded me of Moulin Rouge (which is one movie I truly dislike), but the costumes and acting were so well-done that I was able to enjoy the film and the story. My friend was in tears at the end (I am not so emotional as she) and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love the quote from the Countess in the early part of the film: "I'd rather say I wish I hadn't than I wish I had." (Which is ironic by the end of the story.)
Written August 30, 2016
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 28, 2016
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.