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 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!
Written April 26, 2017
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 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.
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.