Anna Karenina 2012

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(184) IMDb 6.6/10
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Tom Stoppard pens this Academy Award-nominated adaptation of Tolstoy's classic story of doomed love, directed by Joe Wright and boasting a star-studded British cast headed by Kiera Knightley and Jude Law. Trapped in a loveless marriage and the ongoing fallout of a family crisis, Anna (Knightley) falls uncontrollably in love with charming and affluent bachelor Count Vronsky (Aaron Johnson). But as Anna falters to make a decision about leaving her husband, government official Karenin (Law), Vronsky continues to pursue his social life, leading Anna into a growing paranoia about his infidelities that eventually leads to tragic consequences.

Starring:
Kelly MacDonald, Emily Watson
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 10 minutes
Starring Kelly MacDonald, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Domhnall Gleeson
Director Joe Wright
Genres Drama, Romance
Studio UNIVERSAL PICTURES UK
Rental release 5 April 2013
Main languages English
Discs
  • Feature ages_12_and_over
Runtime 2 hours 10 minutes
Starring Kelly MacDonald, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Domhnall Gleeson
Director Joe Wright
Genres Drama, Romance
Studio UNIVERSAL PICTURES UK VIDEO RENTAL
Rental release 5 April 2013
Main languages English

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Cynic on 20 Sep 2012
Format: DVD
I had already seen the reviews of this film so was prepared for the somewhat odd theatrical take on it. Having read the book many many years ago I went with an open mind, but to be honest I found the overall effect to be strange and somewhat disengaging. There was undoubted spectacle about it, and from a visual perspective some scenes were stunning, but at the end of the day I found the film disjointed and difficult to follow as it seemed to jump between the conventional and the surreal.

Keira Knightley looking predictably stunning in some wonderful costumes, is sadly not a convincing character actress as I find I can never forget I am watching Keira rather become immersed in the character she is portraying(very much the same about her role as Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice)

I was unprepared for Jude Laws knock out performance as the tormented Karenin. I have never been a great fan of this actor, but I honestly believe his performance is award worthy. Unlike Keira Knightleys 'Anna', Jude Law became the personification of his character, and the film was worth watching for his performance alone. Matthew McFaddyn was also a delight to watch as Annas errant brother

Sadly, I left the cinema feeling oddly unmoved, and feeling that the movie could have given audiences much more.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 12 Sep 2012
Format: DVD
Since it is impossible to do justice in a two hour film to such a celebrated classic, with its focus on inner thoughts, it is probably a good decision to try a different take, in this case the ploy of setting most of the scenes in a theatre, not just on the stage but in the wings, the walk-ways above the podium, the stalls and so on.

So, the audience is watching a film of a play of a book. This has the benefit of conveying a sense of the restrictions and conventions which may have driven Anna to "break out" and give expression to her love for Vronsky, but which also made it impossible for her to be accepted by society afterwards. On the other hand, the theatrical confines may make some scenes seem too stylised, artificial and therefore less moving e.g. the whispered gossip and disapproval of Anna's affair. I was also often unconvinced by the frequent technique of freezing minor characters into the pose of statues, to highlight say, the image of Anna and Vronsky falling in love as they dance together in a world of their own.

I was glad not to need subtitles, since many scenes are quite visually complex, requiring close attention to pick up all the fleeting impressions used to convey a good deal. Tom Stoppard's script is very effective, clear and unpretentious. I could hear every word, which is often not the case. There are some striking scenes such as a horse race in the theatre in which an audience becomes a crowd of real people, only to be replaced by characters painted on a stage backdrop.

All the actors perform well.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jan on 29 July 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found it boring and extremely wierd as it seemed to be set amongst a stage set most of the time and I had no sympathy for the leading lady at all very disappointing
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By fpk on 29 Mar 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, the movie concept and direction are far fetched, superficial and confusing.
Except for Jude Law, the performance of the principal actors is simply pityful and it is quite obvious that they haven't understood anything much about the context and spirit of the story.
Sadly, the whole production is an insult to Leo Tolstoy's wonderful novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Merget on 30 May 2013
Format: DVD
The spectre of Mr Luhrmann is present in every scene of this stylised melodrama. Mrs Karenin's shocking intrigue with an army officer is played out in the `theatre' of the fashionable world - so the director starts the action in an actual little tacky theatre, cardboard scenery and all. As the story unfolds we keep drifting into `real world' for a while, then we are back in the theatre again. Eventually Anna will be rejected by Society when she makes an ill-advised appearance at the opera - at a theatre within a theatre within a cinema. It's a metaphor that certainly knows how to outstay its welcome.

And it's not even always well done. In a ballroom scene dancers freeze in attitudes, like a corps du ballet, while Anna and Vronsky make an impassioned exhibition of themselves around the floor. Ginger and Fred could have carried it off with feeling and grace but all the device does here is bring it forcibly to our attention that Keira Knightly & Aaron Taylor-Johnson are both, as we Lancastrians say, about as lish as a stone trough.

There's not much passion in the acting either. Knightly is the arty director's favourite dolly: put her in a hat and let her gaze at the lens through a black lace veil and, with the help of suitable music, the audience will helpfully project appropriate emotions onto that porcelain face. But beyond her own three or four stock expressions she has no reserves to surprise us - and tragedy does need an actress who can tear herself and her audience to pieces.

Vronsky is certainly handsome. With his floppy curls (I'm not sure about those strange blond highlights, though) he has a look of the young David Hemmings. `Cor! Llanfairpyllgwingeth ...er...gogogoch!
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