March 9, 2013

Anna Karenina Review

Anna Karenina is a theatrical romantic drama film based on a 1877 novel by Leo Tolstoy.  It is set in the  late 19th Century, Imperial Russia where the aristocratic Anna Karenina travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow to save her brothers' marriage.  Anna Karenina has a son with her husband, a Russian Statesman.  On her journey to Moscow, she meets the cavalry officer Count Vronsky and they had some sort of attraction to one another.  This man was supposed to propose to Kitty, who is the younger sister of her sister-in-law.  Kitty invites Anna Karenina to stay for the ball after she has resolved her brothers'marriage problem.  However, during the ball, Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky danced, igniting the spark that was there.  The story explores the feelings that Anna Karenina had which questions her happiness and marriage.

Anna Karenina is directed by Joe Wright who is also the director of Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Atonement (2007).  Keira Knightley plays Anna Karenina, making it her third collaboration with Wright, while Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson stars as Anna Karenina's husband and Count Vronsky, respectively.  

This 2012 British theatrical romantic drama film has earned 4 nominations at the 85th Academy Awards and 6 nominations at the 66th British Academy Film Awards, winning Jacqueline Durran both prizes for Best Costume Design.  Besides that, Anna Karenina also got 6 nominations at the 17th Satellite Awards including a Best Actress for Knightley and Best Adapted Screenplay for Tom Stoppard.  Anna Karenina has earned a worldwide gross of approximately $56 million. 
Based on all that info above, I watched this award winning movie and I thought it was great.  I would say it is very theatrical as randomly you will see that they are on stage, like they are performing in a theater but it's not a theater but a movie.  The movie was very artsy as I would call it.  I have not read the book before and did not know what the story was about.  Overall, I was very impressed with it and look forward to reading the book one day.

There was also violence to it, where jumping onto train tracks happened a few times and a horse falling and breaking his back, writhing in agony which then leads to Vronsky shooting the horse, killing it.  Most probably not a movie for children as I believe they would not understand it or be undisturbed by the violence.  Anna Karenina was a just a woman who believed in her love and because she decided to have her affair and wanted a divorce, she had to live with the consequences.  

I loved the costumes and the ballroom dancing which is different from what I know of ballroom dancing.  It was beautiful and artsy.  Would love to learn that dance and the costumes were beautiful.  Made me wish I was born in that generation just for the clothes.  In general, the movie was beautifully choreographed with people being at the right place at the right moment and the dancing was all very synchronized.  

In conclusion, even though some might think this adaptation of Anna Karenina is not a total success, it is definitely a breath of fresh air to romantic drama movies and Knightley did a pretty good job playing Anna Karenina in my opinion.  I would definitely watch this movie again. 

Anna isn't a criminal, but she broke the rules! - Countess Nortston

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