Written July 29, 2016
This movie was so ridiculously awful that is was almost comical. We would have walked out if we didn’t have to make everyone in our row get up.
Written August 24, 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 November 27, 2015
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 May 05, 2016
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 May 01, 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.