Different than expected, but very enjoyable

By aeroblonde
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.)
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A gorgeous, daring, brillant marathon

By 212toni
Written July 31, 2015
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.
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When bad casting of a leading role ruins a work of art

By Russkaya
Written May 23, 2015
It's a crying shame when what is basically a lovely movie, with some of the most gorgeous cinematography and art direction is years, is soured by a horribly-miscast leading role. I refer to Aaron Taylor-Johnson's effeminate and creepy Count Vronsky...looking like the blonde twin of the Colorado Mass Shooter. How on earth can we believe that this creep was the cause of Anna's downfall? The movie started beautifully with the opera-house concept then quickly took a nosedive the moment that Vronsky appears. Additionally, I did not care for some of the odd choreography and wavy hand movements by ballroom dancers in the background -- were they trying to dance the hula? Most distracting. But the worst thing was Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky. His looks and manner just 'kill' the story.
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All the world is a stage?

By showbizliz
Written May 04, 2015
It was a beautifully shot film....story is great, of course....but I could have done without the "artsy" theatrical style that's solely used as a device rather than helping the story to move forward. I found it pretty distracting; I found it difficult to stay connected and related to the characters--it's almost as if it couldn't decide whether it was a film or a theatre piece. I still think it's a good film. But, would I tell friends they have to run out and see it? Not really.
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Ugh

By fannn
Written June 03, 2015
Really difficult to sit through. Plodding and wandering. Took awhile to figure out the supporting characters. Keira Knightly is lovely to look at but there is no chemistry or passion or anything to grab onto with her lover. The story is so convoluted that I was tempted to walk out after 30 min., but i stuck it out.
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