When bad casting of a leading role ruins a work of art

By Russkaya
Written July 26, 2016
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.
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Fantastic Choreography & Magnificent Sets!

By SteveWeatherstone
Written December 06, 2016
It is very hard to describe this movie, partly because I have never seen anything like it before! The formal dancing is incredibly intricate, & the way the actors move back and forth between theater and real life is very entertaining. The sets and costumes are also first rate, a feast for the eyes! Just be ready for intense emotion between various characters as the movie progresses!
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Anna Karenina

By Florida Lady
Written August 30, 2016
If you want to see a ridiculous movie that thinks it's a play go to see this. We walked out after 15 minutes. It's like they are trying to win a cinematolgraphy award with no substance. If I wanted to see live theater I would go to a play not a movie. Worst movie of the year.
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Not Your Czar's Anna

By celluloidsweetie
Written September 28, 2016
For those who have been weaned on more traditional cinematic treatments of the Tolstoy tale, this new version may startle, annoy, thrill or elicit a combination of all of these. Joe Wright has liberated the story from the confines of opulent interiors and set it in a theater, with much of the action being literally "played out" on a stage. Yet, opulent costumes and jewelry are fabulously in view, underscoring the grandeur that was imperial Russia. Keira Knightley as Anna delivers a glamorous and complex performance; Jude Law is the very model of the bespectacled, stodgy, dutiful and cuckolded Karenin, right down to his tight lips and receding hairline. With his sculpted facial features, arresting blue eyes and almost flippant confidence, Aaron Johnson is note-perfect as Anna's lover Count Vronsky. Visually beautiful, stylish and stylized (and brave enough to reveal more of the Levin character), "Anna" is a must-see. Long, but never dull.
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Here's what they don't tell you: this is a musical!

By review_central
Written August 24, 2016
The big surprise: from the opening curtain – and there is literally an opening curtain – most of this story in enacted inside a theater, where hand painted scenery is pushed around, curtains are raised and lowered, and chandeliers drop from the ceiling just in time for the fancy drawing room scene. There are dancers, chorus lines, and quick-change artists who tear off their government uniforms to reveal they are waiters (!) and proceed to serve dinner. The action – horse races, sleigh rides, big dance numbers, and our lead characters' adultery – are enacted on a theatrical stage in the phoniest, most clumsily contrived manner possible. About 3/4 of this film seems to have no other purpose than to ridicule Tolstoy. Jude Law is strangely out of place because out of the entire cast he somehow manages to act, competently and with real dignity.
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