'Anna Karenina' Critics Call It "A Movie You Want to See On the Big Screen"
A doomed love triangle. A beautiful woman torn between two powerful men. The world turning out to see how the soap-opera drama is resolved.
No, I’m not talking about The Twilight Saga -- which did have a massive opening weekend. I’m referring to Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina, a stunning visual adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel that opened in limited release over the weekend.
We have been banging the drum for this scrumptious period romance for weeks, trying to bring attention to Wright’s beautiful feature, which fills the screen with delicate production values, magnificent costuming, a unique approach to literary adaptations and spectacular performances by Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. It might take a while to get accustomed to Wright’s storytelling here. But the theatricality kicks in with a 360-degree scene transition, and after 10 minutes, the burning emotions catch up with Wright’s visual flair, and Karenina sweeps us up for its passionate ride.
And it has been encouraging to see others hop on the Karenina bandwagon as the awards season ramps up.
“An intoxicating spectacle that breathes new life into the classic Tolstoy novel, incorporating the notion that all life's a stage,” writes Claudia Puig of USA Today.
“Trust me, this is a movie you want to see on the big screen,” Gregory Ellwood writes for HitFix.
I couldn’t agree more. We’re about to enter an extremely busy season at the multiplexes, as Oscar-worthy productions such as Lincoln, Life of Pi, The Silver Linings Playbook and more either open or expand. There are going to be a lot of options for those hoping to see the films that will compete for Best Picture.
But do yourself a favor: See Anna Karenina on the big screen. The emotion matches the spectacle, and the Academy hopefully will get swept up in Wright’s magic in time.
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Sean O'ConnellFandango Bloggers
Sean is a film reviewer for The Washington Post and daily contributor to Fandango.