Review: Anna Karenina

Jewelry envy.
 
In 19th century Russia, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley) is suddenly attracted to Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) even though she's been married to Karenin (Jude Law) for years. How will acting on these feelings effect her and those around her?
 
Joe Wright makes some beautiful movies, and Anna Karenina is no exception. Everything is lavish and beautiful. The jewels that Anna wears stood out the most to me. They were lovely. The way the scenes change is interesting too. It almost felt like a play, with the characters walking from stage to stage and each scene blending in to each other. I thought that was a nice touch. I loved the dancing in the movie as well. The film is a visual masterpiece, but does it have substance story wise?
 
A little. I have to admit I never read the novel, nor have I seen any other adaptations. Anna is an interesting character, her emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I felt myself wishing she had been born in another era. Where what she had done isn't considered so controversial. The one actor that really stuck with me was Jude Law. He doesn't have a lot to do, but he wears his feelings on his face and I thought he was just tremendous in this part. It's very rare that I use "Jude Law" and "tremendous" in the same sentence. There is another story line involving a man name Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) that felt a lot like unnecessary filler to me. Apparently he's a bigger character in the book? I did enjoy the actor, but his scenes just felt a little random.
 
I expect to see Anna Karenina in the Costume Design and maybe even Art Direction categories at the Oscars. I think giving this film an R rating will ultimately hurt it in the long run. There is no reason for it. No excessive language, no nudity, what's the deal?
 
Recommended: Yes
 
Grade: B
 
Memorable Quote: "You have to love Papa, he's better than me." - Anna (Keira Knightley)


6 comments:

  1. I read R rating was because of two train accidents that are apparantly quite gruesome in this adaptation.

    As for Levin, he is a big part of novel, yes, his story is kinda a parallel to Anna as he is not so priviledged and he finds happiness through honest work and is rewarded for it with love and joy. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I'll definetly check it out on DVD.

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  2. That still seems like overkill, the two train accidents were nothing too gory. (Especially the last one) You'll see what I mean when you watch. Thanks for commenting :)

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  3. Yeah, I think this could've been PG-13, and I'd probably give it the same grade. I'm a fan of Knightley and Law, but he gave the better performance. Macfadyen was also fun.

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  4. I loved this novel, and I've never seen any of the other film adaptations, so I'm really looking forward to this one. And the R rating seems ridiculous. Have you seen how much violence they squeeze into some of those PG-13 movies?

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  5. i actually don't even remember levin from the previous movie, but he did have a lot of plot here, whcih puzzled me a bit.thankfully they balanced it in the story. and yes knightley's emotions were ALL OVER THE PLACE. it was like she was constantly on her period. part of thatg is the original source, and the rest of that is...knghtley herself. knightley tends to have very big expressions on her face, but i do like her as an actress.

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  6. The production design and costumes were fantastic. I enjoyed this film.
    Nice review.

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