Anna Karenina Reviews
In making the radical artistic choice to tell the story as if it were being enacted by players on a stage, Wright falls passionately in love with his own fanciful artifices.
There's a coldness to the new "Anna Karenina" that has nothing to do with the white stuff piled up along the streets of 19th-century St. Petersburg. It's the chill that comes from a director entranced with his own talent.
... the signal achievement of this version of 'Anna Karenina' is that it manages to use a world literary classic as the platform for nothing less than the longest Chanel ad ever.
The metaphorical force of this conceit-insisting on the artifice of the social world that frowns on rapture-is not hard to grasp, but its frailty unsettles some of the actors.
It's a half-success -- a baldly conceptual response to the Leo Tolstoy novel, with a heavy theatrical framework placed around the narrative of girl meets boy, followed by girl meets train.
Without Tolsoy's profound interior narration, Anna Karenina is just a soap opera, and for some reason director Joe Wright has decided to compound this problem with deliberate, showy artifice.
Knightley and Law are what salvage Wright's interesting stab at something different, taking an interesting, if flawed, experiment and turning it into something better than it probably ought to be.
Eschewing the classical realism that's characterized most adaptations of Tolstoy's source novel, helmer Joe Wright makes the generally inspired decision to stylize his dark, expressionist take on Anna Karenina.