29 November 2012 10:30 AM, PST | SmellsLikeScreenSpirit | See recent SmellsLikeScreenSpirit news »

My greatest compliment for Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is that it is unlike any film I have ever seen. Like an amusement ride that spins you around and gets you kind of loopy -- yet without inducing a sense of nausea -- Anna Karenina is designed for pure escapism. Shedding the political and social reality that grounded Leo Tolstoy's source novel, Wright's film is first and foremost a fantastical performance piece. Wright sets Anna Karenina within the confines of a theater in which the set design constantly moves and morphs -- and I mean constantly. Utilizing a stream-of-consciousness narrative structure, each scene melts seamlessly into the next, like an extravagantly rendered dream. The choreography and fluidity of it all is downright astounding. I might even go as far as calling Anna Karenina a visual masterpiece. »

- Don Simpson

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