Written July 30, 2016
I was disappointed by this film. Visually it is quite compelling, but the conceit of presenting scenes as though being staged becomes distracting and diminishes the film's content. The novel is a deep and weighty book that treats deep and weighty subjects. In the film, they become superficial, lost in all the pretty pictures. It is all frosting and no cake.
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.
Written May 28, 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.
Written May 03, 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.
Written May 27, 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.