Anna Karenina

Director: Joe Wright

Major Actors: Keira Knightly, Jude Law, and Aaron-Taylor Johnson

IMDb rating: 8/10 (click for page)

I find writing a review for Anna Karenina very difficult for the simple reason its my favorite novel. What this does is muddle my thoughts for I want to say so much especially about the adaptation. But I still want to review this as movie just as I hadn’t read the book. For I feel you should understand each of the forms it takes and not get to upset over how things are done. So this is what I am going to do. In the next couple paragraphs I will review the movie portion and at a later date compare the adaptations. Before I begin the movie portion I will say that this is the best adaptation I think you could do of the novel in a two and half hour movie.

The one thing stands out about this film is the bold step that Wright took, which is where the movie is filmed. It was filmed in an old Russian theater which Wright makes sure not to hide that fact. The whole of theater is used from the behind the stage all the way to the entrance of theater. This is a bold step for the simple fact that he is taking a very epic Russian novel and put into such a small space. I do think for the most part this succeeds in being something new but I feel that is distracts from the story at times. In fact if I had not read the book I would not have been able to follow everything that was going on. Nevertheless it was a joy to watch all the different sets they used and how they decorated it. It was liking watching a grand dance of characters as they moved to each different set.

The one other thing I want to talk about is the pacing of the film. Because of the constant moving or switching of sets it is actually paced well considering it is based off a slowing developing novel. The switching of the sets was able to keep me entertained throughout. It not only moves fast but slows down when it needs, like when Karenin confronts Anna. Over all this was highly enjoyable film. I will save much of what I have to say when I write my blog about the adaptation of the film. I will leave you with this while it was highly enjoyable although it may not be for someone who has not read the novel. Thus I would recommend reading the book before you see the film. Even though I know many of you will not even think about doing that.


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