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Anna Karenina
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Anna Karenina More at IMDbPro »

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28 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Anna Karenina movie failure

Author: cs_eniko from Romania
7 January 2013

Unfortunately it is indeed out! I have been waiting to see this version of Anna Karenina forever. I have recently read this book, and this version is the worst production. I said OK, Keira as Anna, it will be difficult to watch, her being such an inappropriate actress for this role, but in the end all the other parts of the movie made me say this is a huge waste of time... If you haven't read the book it will be very difficult to understand what this movie is about. The actors are poor, except Jude Law, their accent is also bad. The fact that they turned it into a low-budget movie just makes me really upset. It is over-directed, it is a kitsch.

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36 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Anna Who?

Author: taubg-537-539677 from NYC
24 November 2012

I have never written a film review or offered an opinion on any site, but this movie drove me to it. Taking liberties with a great classic for the sake of making it film-worthy is one thing, but this confused and confusing attempt wound up less than effective and an interminable bore to boot. The history is muddled, the opulent costumes are not authentically of any period, let alone Russia of the time, and the scenery and stage sets add nothing but artifice to the overall effect. I won't attempt the wooden acting, or maybe that's the miserable direction, but the fictional yet palpable character of Anna Karenina has been wholly lost to some unrecognizable whim.

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41 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

Awful movie

Author: rm2612 from United States
26 November 2012

What a huge disappointment. I waited since summer for this movie. I am a huge Pride & Prejudice lover. The movie was dull, boring, incredibly distant from the passion of Anna and her lover. Aaron Johnson looked gay. Matthew MacFadyen was ridiculously frivolous and poor Mr. Gleeson was entirely out of place, out of his element and had less sex appeal than a rodent. Insufficient development of Anna's marriage. She just cried throughout. Using a stage as a prop was also ridiculous! Really? A stage? How boring. I nodded half way through and only stayed til the end out of stubborness. What a disappointment. Joe Wright had an opportunity to take us on a Russian voyage and he blew it! I'm still hopping mad.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:


Author: anneharg from United Kingdom
14 January 2013

Not much to say except this film is arty farty pretentious rubbish. Was looking forward to watching an engrossing film of a good book but after the first 30 mins gave up trying to understand what the heck was going on. Only glad that I hadn't paid to watch it if I had I would have been strongly tempted to ask for my money back. It would appear that the producers think that the inclusion of Keira Knightly is enough to guarantee box office success how wrong can they be. Whoever came up with the format of this film needs their head examining it may appeal to the cinema snobs but as far as the general public is concerned it's a candidate for the raspberry award.

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22 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Wasn't expecting a parody

Author: Warren . from Canada
9 January 2013

Seriously? I thought I was watching the wrong movie. It looked like Kevin Kline was one of the first actors. With the smirks and feeble attempts at humor it couldn't be the right movie. No offense to Kevin Kline, but A Fish Called Wanda vibe isn't what I expected in this movie. It felt as if I was seeing a play on film without editing out the set changes.

At Vronsky's first entrance (doing a good Gene Wilder impression) I'd had enough of this spoof.

Maybe this movie is okay if you haven't read the book, but having read it & loved it, this film is a joke.

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous Nonsensical Yet Beautiful Crap

Author: ginger from dallas, tx
23 November 2012

Despite the title, let me begin anew by stating that I absolutely love Joe Wright. He makes beautiful films, and this one is not the exception. However, the script was nonsensical and lacked any sort of sensitivity or heart (why is Anna even supposed to fall for Vronsky in this version? And, why should we care? this movie did not give us reason to do so), (most of) the acting (save Macfadyen, Macdonald, Williams, and sometimes Taylor- Johnson) was ridiculous and over-the-top, and the encompassing of the theater - while a brilliant idea - was completely lacking for an on-screen venture.

This was basically a myriad of fashion photo-shoots for Miss Knightley. Should've just been a cheesy commercial itself.

And, I consider this a travesty considering that this review is coming from a moviegoer who absolutely adores Matthew Macfadyen, Jude Law, and Kelly Macdonald, who are all great actors. But unfortunately, this entire movie fell flat for me.


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53 out of 94 people found the following review useful:

Bold, Beautiful and Incredibly Sensual

Author: Elise Feklistova from Germany
7 September 2012

First and foremost a confession: I have not yet read Anna Karenina and therefore can't judge how well Joe Wright's interpretation captured the spirit, style and message of Tolstoy's novel.

What I do know is that I have just seen a daring and immensely powerful film. Clever use of tableaux, surrealist elements and breathtaking visual images bring out the character's emotions so strongly that halfway through the film I felt like I wasn't a mere spectator anymore. I WAS Anna, so completely and utterly was I engrossed in her world.

Knightley performs well. For years I was convinced she could only play one single type of role - the pretty girl who stands around and bats her eyelashes - but "A Dangerous Method" and now "Anna Karenina" have changed my mind. Knightley's matured as an actress, and now manages to give a depth to her characters that makes them utterly believable.

Though many have criticized him, I think Aaron Taylor-Johnson works as Vronsky. He's charming and seductive and it's easy to see why Anna cannot resist him.

And as for Jude Law, his portrayal of passionless, prudish, but oh, so decent Karenin was nothing less than Oscar worthy.

Wright's "Pride and Prejudice" is mediocre, his "Atonement" is good. His "Anna Karenina", however, is sensual and stunning and I can only recommend it.

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

What Did I Just See

Author: cmi-573-437033 from United States
21 January 2013

I wanted to see Tolstoy but instead I thought I saw Mel Brooks. This movie could be renamed Springtime For Anna. Except it wasn't funny.

A great cast poorly used in a pretentious adaptation.

Jude Law did well with the material given. Keira Knightley, always a pleasure to look at, was miscast in this one. Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky reminded me of Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein.

The switch from stage play scenario to movie scenario only confused the plot.

Thank God Tolstoy is not alive to seek legal recourse.

I wonder how IMDb could give this film a 7.0.

Some nice visuals all that can be said in its defense.

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15 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant adaptation

Author: timmy_501 from United States
17 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina is one of the most acclaimed novels of all time, not least of all because of the excellence of the book's themes. These themes of Tolstoy's are expressed extremely well in Joe Wright's adaptation of Anna Karenina. First and foremost and the area that really sets the film apart is the theatricality of certain settings in the film. Many scenes take place on sets made to resemble the stage, especially early on. I was initially baffled by this choice but I slowly came to realize that it functions as a way to make visual the artificiality of the world inhabited by Anna Karenina, specifically its outdated values. It's extremely clear that Russia was undergoing a major transition during the time in which the narrative is set. Trains and railways play a major role in the film and of course trains are a common symbol of technological progress. There's more than passing reference to the freeing of the serfs and the radical ideology even of some aristocrats, which echoes the life of Tolstoy himself. Much is also made of the cultural shifts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the former of which had apparently become rather old-fashioned compared to the relatively progressive Petersburg at the time. The film suggests that the reaction of the country's upper class was to ignore the major changes that were occurring and cling all the harder to the past, especially with regards to social institutions. Thus the eponymous heroine finds it impossible to escape her loveless marriage with any social standing intact, which eventually drives her mad.

This isn't just a plainly literal translation of the source, however, as Wright's clever use of the stage is just one of many visual techniques he uses to make this material cinematic. Wright's use of landscape is unusually strong, particularly in the surreal final shot. His use of mirrors made me think of some of the works of RW Fassbinder, another supreme visual stylist. Another neat touch is having background characters freeze and fade into the background to suggest the heightened emotional state of the main characters, particularly in the scene where Anna has her first dance with the rakish Vronsky. Overall, another excellent movie from one of the most promising English language directors of his generation and the best 2012 film I've seen so far.

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24 out of 38 people found the following review useful:

A Sumptuous Feast for the Eye and Ear and Mind - BRILLIANT!

Author: gradyharp from United States
5 December 2012

There have been many cinematic versions of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel ANNA KARENINA but for this viewer none matches the creative excellence and power of this very different version. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay for this adaptation and the work was directed with eye toward timeless artistry by Joe Wright. There will be some detractors who feel that cinema is cinema and stage plays are stage plays, but Wright's decision to combine the two works extraordinarily well. The flavor of Tolstoy's story and mood are maintained and yet made somehow more vital by Wright's electing to place this story as though it were happening on a theater stage (including catwalks, backstage, audience and theater boxes etc.) The story is theatrical and Wright embellishes the last of the Czarist days with great aplomb.

The story needs no summary: Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley more beautiful to behold and brilliant in acting than ever) is married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law in a tour de force acting role) and is happy in her station with her slightly cool husband but very warm young son. Then quite unexpectedly her eyes meet those of the wealthy Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor- Johnson in a career making turn) and their love is immediate. The flirtation is enhanced by some of the most beautiful waltzing choreography on film. We are in St. Petersburg, Russia and divorce is something only a man /husband can initiate so as the love affair reaches a point of no return Anna must decide whether to bear the shame of a divorced woman or just be the mistress of the incredibly handsome Count and remain married. In contrast to the Anna/Vronsky duet is the passion of the country lad Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) for the aristocratic Kitty (Alicia Vikander) and throughout the story the two forms of love are paralleled. Anna becomes pregnant with Vronsky's child, an act that quietly infuriates Karenin as it makes Anna's affair public - a condition no one can tolerate in that society - and subsequently results in Anna's leaving her beloved son after she gives birth to the daughter belonging to Vronsky: Karenin will care for the child. The climax comes with Anna's infamous suicide and the story ends with all loose ends tied.

The exceptionally strong supporting cast includes such fine actors as Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson, Emily Watson, Michelle Dockery, and Shirley Henderson. The luxuriant costumes are by Jacqueline Durran, the cinematography is by Seamus McGarvey, and the glorious musical score is by Dario Marianelli. A Stunning Film.

Grady Harp

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