Written November 18, 2012
Anna Karenina remains one of the great tragic stories of all time. This new retelling mixes elements of the stage with classic Hollywood moviemaking. Let me explain. There are many scenes that either start or end on a theater stage, as if to create a limited window into the action or drama that's unfolding. There are even scenes that are highly choreographed where all of the characters are doing routine movements in unison. It works well, for the most part, and elevates the artistry of the scenes. There were moments when I was tired of the gimmick and didn't care for it, but it was well established and added a certain flair that I appreciated overall. Aside from this, it's essentially faithful to the Tolstoy novel and that's not a bad thing at all. Keira Knightley is terrific!
Written December 09, 2012
It open showing a theater and the people/characters in it. Curtains, wheels, walkways...behind the scenes. Ah..a train! That's foreshadowing, just in case you didn't know. There are no real people, no character development. Just magnificently dresse beautiful people wandering about when they are not dancing. It is a pagnent. But so over the top it becomes silly. The jewlery should win an Oscar. Not the actors.
Written November 19, 2012
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 January 11, 2013
Overall, I enjoyed the movie, although at times the stylization reminded me of Moulin Rouge (which is one movie I truly dislike), but the costumes and acting were so well-done that I was able to enjoy the film and the story. My friend was in tears at the end (I am not so emotional as she) and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
I love the quote from the Countess in the early part of the film: "I'd rather say I wish I hadn't than I wish I had." (Which is ironic by the end of the story.)
Written November 26, 2012
The play/film fusion was choppy and never grabs you...no willing suspension of disbelief. However the visuals were rich and scene transitions were creative. I usually love period pieces, but this one did not make it.