Anna Karenina

Rated R 129 minutes 2012

While it’s extremely colorful, this update of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel tries way too hard to reinvent a perfectly good wheel. Director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) gives Anna Karenina a much-unneeded facelift, soaking the story in more style than it knows what to do with. The performances by Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (as Anna and Count Vronsky, respectively) are forced to extreme ends of the spectrum thanks to Wright’s fussing, which places more of an emphasis on how he envisions the world in which the story takes place, and less of an emphasis on the story itself. All in all, this is just a handsome mistake. There’s not enough that’s new, and Wright’s gimmicks generally subtract from what makes Anna Karenina such a great story to begin with.

Film Credits

Official Site: focusfeatures.com/anna_karenina

Director: Joe Wright

Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster and Liza Chasin

Cast: Keira Knightley, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jude Law, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Oskar McNamara, Olivia Williams, Ruth Wilson and Emily Watson

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