Anna Karenina (Focus Features) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Anna Karenina

Studio: Focus Features
Directed by Joe Wright; Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, and Matthew Macfadyen

Nov 16, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Leo Tolstoy’s literary classic hits the silver screen in its umpteenth incarnation, this time in a glitzy A-list adaptation. Keira Knightley stars as the adulterous Anna, along with Kick-Ass‘s Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her young lover. The rather solid cast also includes Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Matthew Macfadyen, and Jude Lawin somewhat dopey old-man makeup, though not nearly as wonky as Guy Pearce’s in Prometheusas Anna’s older, politician husband.

Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) takes several interesting approaches in stylizing the film; most notably, by filming several locations on a single stage, Lars Von Trier-style, with the backdrops moving in and out about the characters to signify scene changes. It’s a neat gimmick that’s practically abandoned all too quickly, as they go back to a traditional, location-based shooting style whenever the film’s b-plot takes center stage. Even when they stick with it, this stylization often crosses the line into distraction, as it’s near-impossible to tell where any character is supposed to be at any given time. Clarity is this slick adaptation’s biggest fault; those without a working knowledge of the eight-part novel’s lengthy plot, the political climate of the time of publication, or at least its cast of interconnected families, are likely to end up lost.


[Read our interview with Keira Knightley and Joe Wright on Anna Karenina here.]

Author rating: 5.5/10

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