The best Anna Karenina I have seen (by pisarenkov)
First. What is a definition of the word "critical art review"? Review is imposition of individual opinion through the press. During my long life I am 72 I have seen many performances on the stage and movies "Anna Karenina." This film is the best. It has everything that should be in the movie: fantasy, entertainment, teaching, and of course the classic love story. For me, personally, it is not always important "WHAT ABOUT", it is also important to me "HOW IT DONE." From my point of view, movie is entertainment. Of course those critics who finds fault <more>
with hairstyles or jewelry, they know better what they want from the movies. They always want to hear a Russian accent and see plausible buttons on the dress. But this is not a police report, this is feature film. Visual aspects are amazingly talented. Acting work- to the point of perfection. First time in my life I saw real Karenin, not half-dead old man, but a loving decent husband. Keira Knightley is impeccable as Anna. Сrowd scenes are tasteful. Music is touching and talented. Tolstoy's novel is very hard to adapt for a screen, it even difficult to read, and the director was able to convey the main thing in this beautiful and romantic movie. I agree with Berthold Brecht who said: "When you entertain -teach, and when you teach- entertain"." There is no doubt that this film is not for everyone, and those who like "Scream 2" or " Spiderman", they do not have to watch this movie. All critical reviews are long and tedious, but the film is short, with exciting feelings and has a good taste. There is only one measure of art: talented or not talented. The rest is a matter of taste. But there is no accounting for tastes.This film is talented in every way.
A Sumptuous Feast for the Eye and Ear and Mind - BRILLIANT! (by gradyharp)
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 <more>
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
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 <more>
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.
Director Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel Anna Karenina is one of the most visually stunning and artistically bold films I've seen in quite some time. Wright places most of his plot within the confines of a dilapidated theatre and has his actors make use of the stage, stalls and behind the scenes areas when forming the sets of late Tsarist Saint Petersburg. Actors will walk from one part of the theatre to another with sets and costumes changing around them, all with the hustle and bustle of both a real theatre and lively city. It's a stylistic decision which <more>
was probably met with scepticism by studio bosses and the like but works incredibly well to bring to life the characters which themselves are so wonderfully written by Tolstoy.Joe Wright was lucky in a way in that he started off with a fantastic story, written by Tolstoy. This was then adapted by Oscar winning screenwriter Tom Stoppard who handed Wright and his cast a beautifully well crafted script which despite its complexities, rolls of the tongues of the talented cast. I have never read the source novel and have in fact never managed to finish any of the great works of Russian literature the names don't help so the plot was new to me. The themes of love, infidelity, trust and city vs countryside-life charge out of the screen and most are tackled very well. One area which I thought was slightly forgotten was the fascinating part of the plot regarding Levin Domhnall Gleeson . Levin is in love with an attractive and highly sought after young Princess, Kitty Alicia Vikander . His tale of love, family, hardship and politics feels slightly brushed to one side which is a shame as his arc also points towards the social upheaval which would greet Russia in the coming decades.The first half of this film was probably my favourite half of any I've seen in the cinema this year. It whizzed along thanks to the dialogue, plot and interesting design. The problems that I have with some period dramas such as dull ideas and duller characters felt a million miles away as I watched, transfixed with a smile on my face. The highlight of the entire film for me was a ball in which some of the central characters danced. This was a scene full of careful manoeuvring, examination and lust as the two lovers become intimate for the first time. Onlookers watch on as Anna and Count Vronsky dance a waltz to an ever quickening pace. Kitty watches with horror as she sees the man she thought was hers slip away. The dancing itself is beautifully choreographed and came as close to art as I've seen dance be. Due in part to the nature of the story, the second half of the film doesn't quite live up to the pace or intensity of the opening half but is nonetheless interesting, dark and impressive.There are three things which make Anna Karenina one of my favourite films of 2012 so far. The first is the story, the second is the direction and the third is the acting. Every single member of the cast dazzles here with not one actor giving a misjudged or poor performance. The standout for me is Jude Law whose mild mannered and restrained performance is simply incredible. He maintains grace and dignity despite having a terrible spell thanks to Anna and Law manages to convey all of his emotions in a similar understated way to Gary Oldman did with Smiley in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He also makes the audience feel incredibly empathetic towards his character. For an actress I'm not particularly fond of, Keira Knightly has somehow found herself with two excellent central performances in two of my favourite films of the year; this and A Dangerous Method. She feels like the go-to-girl for this type of role and is excellent although my girlfriend rightly points out that when she smiles, she looks like she's about to cry. Aaron Taylor-Johnson also gives a good performance, despite comedy moustache, as the dashing lover. He is believable as the swarve and arrogant cavalryman but is outplayed by Law in later scenes. It's funny to think that ten years ago it would probably have been Jude Law in the Vronsky role but he has matured as an actor in recent years and can carry off a character like Karenin with aplomb. Another standout is Matthew Macfadyen who plays more of a comedy character but plays it gracefully. Domhnall Gleeson is also superb as Levin.Despite the great acting this is the director's film. The style is so bold that at first I was worried that it wouldn't work but to keep a city as vast as Saint Petersburg inside one theatre then having the rest of the world to play with outside the city was a fantastic idea which was pulled off with pinpoint precision. There are flaws, for instance it felt slightly too long and some areas weren't given as much attention as I'd have liked two contradictory statements I know but overall Anna Karenina is a enchanting film and one of the best I've seen so far this year.www.attheback.blogspot.com
Bold, Beautiful and Incredibly Sensual (by lisa-ravenclaw)
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 <more>
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.
A theatrical demonstration showing Imperial Russian society strangling a love outside the rules. (by simon-1556)
Director Wrigh's view of his audience is one of an assumption of intelligence and the craft with which he has used the best elements of both theatre and cinema styles is a credit to him and the actors who make this film so great. These are easily Knightly's and Law's best film performances and the acting of almost the whole cast is extremely good. The role of Levin played by Gleeson is brilliant.The book is actually my favourite book of all time and this is the first adaptation which I believe has captured the spirit of the film. The tragedy of Anna, the sympathy that one feels <more>
for the Karenin and the pureness of Levin's love for Kitty are all evoked beautifully.In some ways the audience is made to work with the film to really get the most out of it but the magic drew me in very quickly and the claustrophobic nature of imperial Russian society was clearly demonstrated within the overall metaphor.Is this film going to be appreciated by fans of the Expendables - probably not! However I am a fan of many films including the Transporter series and whilst Anna Karenina may not have many thrills it is good honest story telling at one level and a great film to make one think. BTW this is my first review I have written but as may be surmised it moved me.
I once asked Dustin Hoffman if he had any favorite movies or actors. He replied that he had favorite performances. Referring it seemed, to much smaller periods within a film. There are several shots where Keira is picture perfect, but this role was not for her. This performance ruins our memory of her former success under Joe Wright. Especially her first, which is her most unforgettable. Black Swan did the same for Natalie Portman, another of our cinema sweethearts. Which I walked out of. Her part here needed to be much deeper and more complex, but instead it was shallow and trite. The way <more>
Anna was portrayed was out of place. Whether by acting or writing I don't know. Either way it was a mistake. All of the male leads, four at my count, complemented each other perfectly and were well done. Some surprising cameos among the women. I didn't see it at the theater after hearing about the stage within the movie technique, which has actually been done in a few good movies. I didn't see it as a problem. The recent film Anonymous about Shakespeare began this way, as do others based on plays of his. Julie Taymore in her solo attempt to put Titus on film blended styles while injecting modern means and mechanism into near ancient settings, and pulled it off very smartly. Both of these were good films and highly worth watching. I point this out as there were many complaints about it in other reviews. It isn't the blending of the modern and the ancient, or the use of multiple styles in itself that is a problem. It's more a question of whether it works, and how well it was done. I believe here it does. Peter Greenaway excels at this kind of film making. We sometimes forget how shallow we have become as a society. What a melange and patchwork our culture is. Are we surprised it shows up in our films. There are some moments of clarity in the movie that are almost bewitching. While others present motion picture as painting or poetry. Some very good transitions. Overall I believe it to be a very creative effort. It is a blending of choreography, stage, and cinema with a desire to please the eye and entertain our emotions. It was only the moral ambiguity and modern sensibilities between the two lovers I found contemptible. Both of them being out of time and out of place. Love is the great conquerer of lust. As lust is the great destroyer of love. I believe the author intended this to be about the second. It is a mistake to think movies from books should be the book. Just as it is wrong for an amoral people to replace the beliefs of a moral people . . with their own. Especially when borrowing or telling their stories. One of the great enjoyments for all lovers of period pieces is going back to a time when people knew morality and understood what it was, and most agreed with it. Whether or not they actually were moral is entirely . . another story.http://fullgrownministry.wordpress.com/2013/08/04/covet/
A bold, daring, and different cinematic vision from Joe Wright (by edwardwhitbread)
Anna Karenina Confession: OK, I haven't read the book. Alright? I know people that didn't like this movie will just tell me it's because it didn't do justice to the book. Let's just be clear though: a book is a book and a film is a film and any attempt of one to fully to justice to the other will not work.Anna Karenina stars Keira Knightley as the disloyal beauty Anna Karenina who falls for the dashing Count Vronsky Aaron Taylor-Johnson: that's correct, the one from Kick Ass and in doing so shames her dutiful husband played superbly by Jude Law . The film has a <more>
fantastic supporting cast that includes Emily Watson and Mathew Macfadyen. And then, of course, the marriage made in heaven, Tom Stoppard and Joe Wright, the writer of Shakespeare in love and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead and the director of Atonement and Hanna. This team, together, produced something that I think was rather special.The film is so curiously different from the very beginning and one's attention is immediately grabbed. The characters seem to be immersed in a theatrical world where sets and scenes unashamedly change before our very eyes. There is something incredibly sincere in this method, the film allows you to see that it is, of course a film and not a picture of a different reality. It does not try to deceive us into a suspension of disbelief but rather amaze and let us focus on the message of the movie, itself.That isn't to say that the plot isn't deep and layered – to the contrary, there is so many themes and ideas at play, here, that one leaves the cinema still thinking. For example a great emphasis is placed on Anna's religious guilt. There is a scene with Vronsky where they are lying in a deserted forest. She claims that no-one can see them and just to be sure, she looks left, right, backwards and forward, before pausing for a beat and looking up. She fears God not because of his wrath and power but because He threatens what she loves most in life: Vronsky. Then there is the character Levin, a friend of Anna's brother, who provides something of a philosophical commentary on the narrative. He believes in family values, a monogamous and holy existence, and where Anna's love story is dangerous and doomed for failure, his is charming and beautiful.Needless to say, the acting was perfect. I would be shocked if Miss Knightley did not have an Oscar nomination for best actress and Mathew Macfadyen for best supporting actor. The best performance of the film, however, came from Jude Law who was scarily perfect as Alexei Karenina, the boring but loving husband of Anna.This film has been criticised for holding style above substance. I disagree entirely: it could have been an ordinary period drama but instead turned itself into a bold and different cinematic vision. You will not be disappointed.
for a viewer and a reviewer (by karkushkino-539-95585)
I was really afraid to see this movie after several negative reviews and some positive, i was afraid to be irritated worst thing that happens to you while watching movie, cause you cannot even fall asleep that you really want, irritation doesn't let you .. and i was really delighted after 10 min of watching a movie, cause it's DIFFERENT from my expectations, and you don't even think of criticizing.The director gave us a free narration, and it has several beneficial clues: dynamic, not a web of events but a streaming plot, scenery not even the view but idea sailor playing, ball <more>
in a shabby hall - i don't know why Mr wright came up with it, theatrical performance, and carpenters changing scenery , actors - LOVED ALL. if not to think that in the book Anna was quite plump. and i liked vronskiy - not a boy but not yet a man.. really a desperate person with burning heart, ambitious, sincere, LOVING, passionate, carp diem but serious in liaison. that what i saw in Aaron. he is a good match. and i SEE why wanna Anna fell in love with him. was upset that didn't see Anna's daughter, she is a fruit and a key to understanding of Anna's heart. hope Kira had bigger boobs, sometimes looked like from a Paris fashion week, that skinny. wrong impression of Levin's attitude: he was so contradictory in his family feeling, but on the screen like a pastoral song - light and smooth. NOT AT ALL. Stiva charming. Dolly is suffering and loving. Karenin is Jude law. i saw Jude law . not Karen. but liked it, excusing myself that it's a free interpretation. good understanding of key moments in a book and immediate response to them in a movie. and of course you Don't see Tolstoy there. just on the surface of the surface. that far. several really serious wrong impressions Levin story, vronskiy was crystal faithful with Anna, and some small moments, but those two i cant digest . really nice Russian folk on the background.