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 November 29, 2012
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...
***For full review please visit peneflix(dot)com!!!
Written November 17, 2012
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 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 October 20, 2014
It was a beautifully shot film....story is great, of course....but I could have done without the "artsy" theatrical style that's solely used as a device rather than helping the story to move forward. I found it pretty distracting; I found it difficult to stay connected and related to the characters--it's almost as if it couldn't decide whether it was a film or a theatre piece.
I still think it's a good film. But, would I tell friends they have to run out and see it? Not really.