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|Index||234 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You would get this movie.
I admit that I am biased because I have always loved the book. And I can't imagine what it might be like for someone who has no experience with the novel. Maybe they would like the story?
But I found the change of scenes to really take away from the story line. It was overly artistic and inconveniently distracting. (This being an issue because I love the story so much.) I liked how free and open the outdoor scenes were. And I think the director actually did an honest job covering the story. I agree with the claustrophobic feeling and while I found myself suffering through it, I also wonder if the director wanted us to feel that way- to maybe connect ourselves to Anna's feelings? I hope it was on purpose. It was still horrible to suffer through though.
I have to agree that the actor chosen as Vronsky was just a terrible choice. Yikes!! There didn't seem to be any real chemistry at all between them- oddly completely on his side. (Keira knightly seems to have really tried to add some feels- Whatever chemistry that was there was fully carried by her. (He honestly had more chemaitey with his horse. And with his male friends.) Keira knightly probably wasn't the perfect choice either. Although I love her when she is in the right roles for her. She can be wonderful on screen. And maybe if she had had chemistry with vronsky (his fault!) then.... Who knows. But girl to girl... No girl would like Vronsky anyway.. And she had to kiss that tweenager mustache so she is forgiven.
For me, the story alone has enough drama to read and reread again and again throughout a persons life. . I wish the art of this movie had been in how well the story was told. And I wish it had been done in a more organic, simple manner.
In summation: poorly cast and over worked. The writer and director did an honest job of attempting to keep the integrity of the story. Beautiful costumes. But I wish I had spent the evening steaming Downton Abbey instead of watching this.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When i think to all the time, efforts and sacrifices Tolstoy made to write his monumental drama in a realistic way, i really don't understand why this movie decided to spend all its money to do a sort of opera, musical thing ! When i saw this opening, i thought it was a play on stage and as the movie kept it that way, i felt then so betrayed and sad because i knew that it would be 2 long hours of poop. Sure it can feature a lovely Keira and the cool and talented « kick ass » but those mobile, combined sets and this dreadful vision really destroyed all the story ! It was such an opportunity to depict imperial Russia and pay homage to such a sad life as this poor Anna becomes crazy of pain and decides to die. But in a way, i'm not really surprised : America is really this fool country, full of money that just can't buy and understand artistic genius or creativity ! Even if monkeys ate caviar everyday and moves in Porsche, they are still monkeys when you give them pencils ! That's another example here of this big nonsense that wants to do silly circus acts for the eyes when the author wanted to touch the hearts ! Just horrible !
To quote Anna at the train stop meeting with Vronsky, "This is WRONG!" And it is. It is as if the director, Joe Wright, decided to intentionally make a film about adultery, by creating an adultery himself of it, and making us feel how wrong it is. It worked. The cast, I thought, worked. The costumes, the sets, the music. The director however makes it into a Chekhovian farce/drama, limiting character development, and "opening out" the novel tremendously. This is not a faithful adaptation - this film is as adulterous as you can have it. If that was the point it worked. Because, as others pointed out - the themes are there (even to Karenin's ears!). but because the focus is adultery (over and over) starting from the first one (with the governess) & it renders the film - generic. In other words it becomes: all stories of adultery are unhappy in the same way, and told the same, have the same characters, and become clichés of each other. That is actually true to the first sentence in the novel, because in the end ALL UNHAPPY families are EXACTLY the same, that's what Tolstoy really is trying to show. Still, I can't watch it, can't beat the Russian '67 version, it's all the 'opening out' and editing, and shooting, and the fast paced dialogue. The novel is very suspenseful, mysterious, leaves room for reflection, this doesn't. I suppose I have to try to remember Anna's advice in this case: "if you are a good man you'll forget everything". The dancing was good, great neo-classical ballet sequences, etc, but it's like I'm watching something else and not A.K. awful.
I tried watching this movie last year but only got 10 minutes into it and quit in disgust. I finally forced myself to try to get through it but it was difficult. This movie is really badly cast and the style may work as a theater production but is very very disappointing. I can hardly believe what the way that they managed to ruin such a wonderful piece of literature, which, treated with the correct respect could have made for a masterpiece. The characters were all flat with none of the richness of the book, and Vronski in particular was completely unconvincing as a magnetic and powerful playboy. Knightly's typical overacting was not just irritating, but she was definitely not mature or attractive enough to be playing Anna.
Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is visually keen and 'kinda'-daring (like
Lars von Trier's Dogville in spots, the 'World's a stage' approach,
except still as a big costume drama with lavish sets, gorgeously
costumed extras, and melodrama, or just soap opera, turns of the plot),
and some very fine performances of Tom Stoppard adapted dialog, which
is mostly a pleasure to hear spoken this well.
It's also that time that I haven't seen in a while, if ever, where Kiera Knightley got me to give a damn about the (anti) heroine due to her own conviction in every scene. There's passion here, folks. Though, for me, Jude Law with his restraint and his super mixed are-these-things-feelings, stole his scenes curiously enough. And the smallest detail, cracking ones knuckles, made the biggest impression on me as opposed to the big set pieces (awesomely choreographed as they are).
Recommended, especially as the kind of movie that should bring in crowds like Hollywood during the depression: watch well-off people deal with big emotional problems, looking good while doing it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I started watching this film and literally stopped because of the silliness of the "stylization". I could not finish it. Don't get me wrong; I love a good stylized period piece. I loved Stoker. However, the implementation of "stylizing" the film in the form of a stage setting does not add to the film's richness. Rather, it takes away from the seriousness of the subject matter and is inappropriate. I was on the edge of my seat only because the fear was so great that they'd at some point break out into song and dance. If you want to see a serious adaptation of this novel done properly, watch Anna Karenina 1997 with Sophie Marceau. It is far superior. If you're reading this and want to know which version you should watch, do pick the older version. Sophie Marceau is phenomenal as Anna Karenina. Kiera Knightly? Not so much. She doesn't capture the heartbreak as well as Sophie does, in my opinion. It saddens me to think that people will see this version and not that one.
Although her role is quite small, Emily Watson is the sole reason to see this unsatisfying adaptation of the magnificent novel. The acting is uniform in its inadequacy, the direction dull and lifeless, and the entire film is lost in the shadow of the wonderful Garbo masterpiece. If only Ms. Watson could travel back in time and join her stunning gifts with those of Garbo! What a treasure that film would be. Unfortunately, other than Emily Watson's magnificent performance, this has only costume design to recommend it. However, Watson captures the essence of the period in her all-too-brief but magical turn. What a truly gifted artist she is! The way she brings to life her character is as if she actually lived in that time and simply stepped before the cameras from the Russia of old. It is a stellar, amazing wonder to watch her work her magic and save this film from being a complete and utter failure. Nothing that includes a performance by Ms. Watson could ever be described as such.
I did enjoy this movie,
I think Kiera did a good (not fantastic) job of portraying the infamous adulterous, and I had no issues with the rest of the cast. None of them were particularly bad in their roles, though I did not think any of then were amazing (except for Jude Law who played Anna's husband very well).
The place where this film really stood out was in its style. The costumes, the sets, the creativity, and how everything is set to a sort of abstract motion really set this film apart. My personal favourite scene was when Count Vronsky and Anna were dancing for the first time, the dance was beautiful, and the filming was expertly done.
It all came at a price, the style took precedence over the substance, which is essential in a movie, the characters could have been developed more, the relationships and events could have been explored in more depth. Though the substance was not atrocious, it was nothing special.
A 7 is the perfect number to summarize the quality of this film. It was pure style that took the place of story and character.
Stars don't make movies. Movies make stars. A bad director can ruin
everything for everyone.
The stilted transition, the artsy fartsy staging, the awkward mis en scene of this movie made it a farce of a masterpiece that was done so beautifully with Vivien Leigh and Fredreich March before.
The director's eagerness to show off his uniquely creative genius drained every ounce of the movie's possible connection with the audience. When the focus is on the making of the movie instead of the story of the movie, it made any emotional involvement with the characters impossible. Everyone in the movie became no more than walking paper cutouts in a shadow play.
What a waste of a lot of money and lavish costumes and the talents of many actors. What a shame!
Based on Tolstoi's great novel and developed as a theatrical representation, often includes humorous situations and actions, that never appeared in the novel. Slow in its developing, entangled in the plot, the movie wasted the great plot the writer presented and, despite the good performance of the protagonists, in particular Jude Law, leaves a feeling of confusion and frustration of what is expected to see. For this great work of art I rather prefer a more tight adaptation of what the great Count said so masterfully. Music, photography and costumes were well developed and enhanced the work, but in comparison to so many good films in 2012, this is not one of the bests.
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