Written September 30, 2016
Settle in for this groundbreaking extravaganza, which captures almost a thousand pages of Russian epic in about 2 1/2 hours. The costumes alone are enough to keep you enthralled. Amazingly, the bold conceit of depicting the story in a theater, onstage and backstage, a literal metaphor for the glories and constraints of life in 19th century Moscow and St. Petersburg, is in itself thrilling -- besides, as the story swoops from scene to scene like some mad waltz, from time to time, a door opens and we find ourselves confronted with the breathtaking literal vastness of the Russian countryside. You never know where you'll find yourself next. Meanwhile, a ravishing Keira Knightly appears in gown after fabulous gown, each a rich solid color reflecting her current passionate emotion. Her face, often shot in extreme closeup, registers her every thought. Surrender to this movie, and its images will stay with you for a long, long time.
Written February 25, 2017
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 July 24, 2016
Really difficult to sit through. Plodding and wandering. Took awhile to figure out the supporting characters. Keira Knightly is lovely to look at but there is no chemistry or passion or anything to grab onto with her lover. The story is so convoluted that I was tempted to walk out after 30 min., but i stuck it out.
Written September 27, 2016
Turn back! Run away! Go see a hobit or a british special agent or a vampire. Do not waste any money on this film. I don't think I am "enlightened" enough to appreciate a movie, within a play, within a musical, within a nightmare, but this story is nothing like what we expected. This is a tremendous novel; why they chose to make it a film in this way is baffling. It confuses everyrhing about the novel and only distracts from what could have been an outstanding cast. If it is not the random tuba player that interjects himself into the scene, it is the blindingly stupid scenes involving ink stamping and coat changes. I do love movies and pride myself on the fact that I must stay to watch a film unitl its' end no matter how bad (although Punch Drunk Love was the exception) but AK certainily tested my will. Good Luck if you choose to drop the $10+. Remember, you were forwarned.
Written February 24, 2017
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...
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