Written September 28, 2016
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.
Written May 28, 2016
Kira Knightly "was" Anna in this movie. Her plunge into despair was heartbreaking. The costuming was breathtaking as well, the dresses looked like those I viewed in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.
Written May 28, 2016
Beautifully staged, with an operatic feel. Knightly and Law do a wonderful job but the casting of Taylor-Johnson was off the mark. Vronsky is supposed to be the man Anna would risk all for but Taylor-Johnson's effete young soldier didn't inspire passion as much as puzzlement. Why would Anna throw everything away for him? A little hard to follow at times, it helps if one has read the book.
Written July 24, 2016
I have mixed feelings about this movie. It took me a while to get used to the thaeatrical staging and props. It is creative and interesting. Definitely woth a look!
Written July 26, 2016
The idea that it's played out in some sort of "operetta" was a weird production decision. It was difficult to know who was doing what, where. It moved verrrry fast. The story is CLASSIC and a must-read for anyone who ever enjoyed a high school english class where the concepts of theme, irony, symbolism, foreshadowing, etc. are the focus. The story is FULL of that and double meanings. I would have enjoyed it much more if it was just played out as a regular movie with a story and a set - period. Although, Aaron Taylor-Johnson is so crazy, incredibly GORGEOUS it's almost worth seeing just for that! The acting was great but the premise was...well...not for everyone. Unfortunately I'd suspect that more people hated it than enjoyed it just for that reason alone. Which is a shame because the story is timeless and classic.