I watched three films in two days and have lots of projects on the go, so I’m going to have to keep these reviews brief.
Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina deserves a contemporary filming, so I had looked forward to seeing Anna Karenina. With Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) at the helm and Tom Stoppard (Brazil, Shakespeare in Love) doing the screenplay, I didn’t see how the film could go too far wrong, but it did.
Anna Karenina is filmed in a very unique style, with much of it shown on a stage. This unique stylistic decision, which includes short scenes and constant movement, is no doubt supposed to make the film feel more like an innovative art house film than a typical period drama. Well, it certainly does that, but not in a successful way. The style and the story are an awkward fit at best.
Production values are very good and the acting (Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald) is generally adequate, but there’s no real chemistry between Anna (Knightley) and Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson) and the result is a film that completely failed to engage me on an emotional level.
I found Anna Karenina interesting rather than entertaining and can’t imagine being willing to see it again, so it gets a dismal **+. My mug is down.