Written July 25, 2014
Definitely not your usual costume drama. And what costumes they were. A mix of contemporary haute couture to a twist on period 1860's+. The men and the women looked fantastic. This movie was a feast on a huge gluttonous groaning board. Transfixed I couldn't get up and had to call for the feather and bucket and feast some more. At times I shook my head....is this a ballet is this a movie is this theatre of the absurd? I was immersed in it despite it's being a bit twee and over the top. I got it, I'm in the business and appreciated what it was doing and was happily along for the surealistic ride. At one point K.Knightly's strings of saliva were a queezy distraction and I found myself swallowing overly much. But that is my pecadillo, moist mouths with too much spittle (shudder). But I dwell too much upon the surface. Her passionate dilemma, his complacency well played engendering sympathy. I supposed her attraction to the very young "dashing" Count. Though as a foil he appeared immature.
Written August 21, 2014
I've always been a big fan of Keira Knightly and have adored Joe Wright's work since Pride and Prejudice. So, I was so excited to see Anna Karenina! Keira is simply breathtaking in this film and the movie itself is visually stunning. The costumes are also impeccable. I wasn't very familiar with the story. I was a little confused in the beginning but was able to follow the plot. Be prepared for high drama, intense romance, and intrigue. The movie is also very artistic and stylistic. At times, it feels like you're watching a beautiful work of art coming to life or a performance art piece. Jude Law is astonishing and Matthew MacFayden (also a big fan) is great, too! The chemistry between Aaron Johnson and Keira is palpable making the entire movie a deliciously rich romantic tragedy that is simply stunning to watch. I have to admit, the movie was a bit slow at times and I could have had more love scenes; but, overall I'd HIGHLY recommend it!
Written November 17, 2012
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.
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 October 20, 2014
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.