Written December 16, 2012
Did not read Tolstoy's book but the movie presented a powerful emotional story. But it was presented in a unique way which I found somewhat distracting and seemed to lessen the impact for me. But it is definitely worth seeing.
Written December 11, 2012
I did not care for the format of the movie as a performance within a performance. It made it confusing and I often could not tell whether it was really happening or just in the imagination of the characters. Kiera Knightly was outstanding as was Jude Law. The costumes were amazing! I liked it, but some parts were slow and I was a bit confused with the format.
Written December 28, 2012
I rate this film an A. I have never read the novel so I went in blind. It is a visually stunning film!! The set design and costuming were top notch. The fact that it is part play and part film is a new concept to me and worked well. Keira is beautiful and perhaps the best period piece actress I've ever seen (Atonement and Pride & Prejudice). Her performance is fantastic, believable, moving, and deserving of any nominations that come her way. GO see it.
Written January 25, 2013
Anna Karenina is a great book, and there have been fine productions. While this one has beautiful performances, I found that the extreme stylization trivialized this very dramatic tale. The score was not good, either. Very disappointed.
Written August 28, 2014
Anna Karenina remains one of the great tragic stories of all time. This new retelling mixes elements of the stage with classic Hollywood moviemaking. Let me explain. There are many scenes that either start or end on a theater stage, as if to create a limited window into the action or drama that's unfolding. There are even scenes that are highly choreographed where all of the characters are doing routine movements in unison. It works well, for the most part, and elevates the artistry of the scenes. There were moments when I was tired of the gimmick and didn't care for it, but it was well established and added a certain flair that I appreciated overall. Aside from this, it's essentially faithful to the Tolstoy novel and that's not a bad thing at all. Keira Knightley is terrific!