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"Anna Karenina"

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"Anna Karenina"

Post  Susan Abernethy on Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:46 am

Joe Wright and his muse, Keira Knightley have delivered once again. If you loved “Pride and Prejudice”, you will love “Anna Karenina”.

This movie is spectacular. The director Joe Wright starts the movie on a stage which is a little disconcerting at first. He is making a point that the life of these characters is played out as a drama and their roles are carefully crafted. Once you become used to this device, the movie starts to flow freely. Anna appears to be happy in the beginning, playing her role as a dutiful wife and mother. Her husband, played flawlessly by Jude Law, is distant and busy but he is not unjust or demanding. Anna’s brother (Matthew Mcfadyen) in Moscow is having an affair with his children’s governess. Anna is summoned to smooth things over with his wife (Kelly MacDonald). While there, she has a fateful meeting with the regimental soldier Vronsky. Anna never looks back.

Keira Knightley is stunningly beautiful and wears the elaborate costumes with ease. Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Vronsky and is unfortunately miscast. He’s a little too “pretty” but this is a small flaw and doesn't detract from the movie. Taylor-Johnson's acting allows us to see Vronsky is not very serious in any of his pursuits and chafes at the imperious power of his mother (Olivia Williams). Shirley Henderson, with her distinctly peculiar voice, plays a pivotal role in the humiliation of Anna.

There is a smaller love story involving Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kitty (Alicia Vikander) that is quietly delightful. This movie has it all. Tragic love story, exquisite costumes, stunning ballroom dancing and a lush, orchestral score by Dario Marianelli. I would rate it four out of four stars.

Susan Abernethy

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