Written September 02, 2015
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 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 August 31, 2015
Trying to adapt Tolstoy cannot be an easy task and this dud proves it. I liked the cinematography, costumes, and acting, which is why I added the +, but everything else, including the stage-like depiction, is D-worthy. Very slow moving and hard to understand, maybe I'm too simple, but I almost fell asleep several times. Anna is extremely complicated and easy to like, but everyone else is the opposite. Watch at your own risk!
Written March 03, 2015
Movie is very artsy changing between the stage and reality. That proves a bit confusing at first. It is beautifully filmed, but the chemistry between Anna and the Count is flat. Jude Law is excellent as the long suffering husband.
Written January 31, 2015
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.