Written August 28, 2014
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 October 01, 2014
I went on GF's suggestion and Lo! was blown away by a super brilliantly directed/acted gem of a movie w/ attitude. conveying fully the passionate novel and giving us a sense of place all over the place -- from waltz to sex, symbol to surreal. Enjoy!
Written October 22, 2014
Beautiful, artsy, imaginative, and original, but just a bit slow. The tension of improper love vs. societal mores filled the movie, but was paced and interjected well. Costumes were great along with the sets. The scene dancing in the ballroom was amazing. Kids might be bored. It should be rated R considering the sexuality in the movie.
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.)