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Friday, January 18, 2013

Anna Karenina by Joe Wright, 2012 (R)

Another Oscar Nominee 2013, for Best Cinematography, Costume Design (WON), Production Design and Original Score.
From the Director of "Hanna" and "Pride and Prejudice"
with Keira Knightley (A Dangerous Method, Never Let Me Go), Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Breaking And Entering, Hugo, Sleuth, Contagion), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy, Albert Nobbs), Matthew Macfadyen (Robin Hood), Domhnall Gleeson (True Grit, Harry Potter), Alicia Vikander, Kelly Macdonald (Brave, The Girl in the Cafe), Ruth Wilson, Olivia Williams (The Ghost Writer, An Education, Hanna), Emily Watson (Fireflies in the Garden, Breaking the Waves, War Horse)

Oscar winner Tom Stoppard penned this adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's classic novel, which stars Keira Knightley as the titular 19th-century Russian aristocrat who enters into a passionate and forbidden love affair with the well-heeled Count Vronsky.

To be honest, despite all the buzz surrounding the movie, I wasn't at all impressed. It is a beautifully shot movie, the theater set is amazingly exploited, with an interesting journey for its characters, supporting roles that really describe the context of 19th century Russia, so close to its revolution, and definitely looking for a modern definition of Anna Karenina. I specially loved the relationship between Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kitty (Alicia Vikander), and the journey of patience and social learning they go through.
It is an ambitious movie, and for the first half of the movie, it works. But perhaps because I felt Keira Knightley's impersonation was very close in a way to her crazy performance in "A Dangerous Method", I didn't connect to Anna in the way a woman perhaps should, claiming a freedom/second chance that yet was not allowed for a woman. The relationship she has with the crowd personified wasn't coherent to me in the sense that she doesn't care about it until she does, and instead of showing a sense of revolt, shame or repulsion, it looks like her feelings are led only towards plain jealousy,  which is what makes her commit suicide, instead of being the dead end that the society leads her towards. Which is a sadly simplified ending that makes the movie become about a woman who turns jealous instead of being a woman ahead of her time. Irritating.

Watch Trailer:


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