Anna Karenina

Friday 12th February 2016

Director: Joe Wright
Year: 2012
Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen

Anna Karenina feels, in many ways, an awful lot like the book. Which isn't a compliment. After spending months slogging through the book a few years back, I did not feel satisfied at all with the ending. The film left me with exactly the same feeling. I guess it says something about the movie that it manages to be so faithful to the book...

... in some ways. When Anna Karenina starts, it is very visual and highly stylised. This continues throughout the movie, but somewhere along the way it manages to hone in on the things Tolstoy (I assume) was trying to convey when he wrote the novel - even if the book, at least to me, never really felt very stylised at all.

As my husband pointed out, Anna Karenina feels like something of a bit part in her own story. I imagine that's really on purpose, but it's annoying when she's clearly meant to be the central character. In the novel she bangs on about Kitty a lot. In the movie Kitty hardly features - but then, that's not surprising. Because whilst she's talked about in the novel, nothing  really happens to her. I guess it can't be the fault of the film that I hated the novel - but it has other problems too. Keira Knightley just doesn't seem right for the role of Anna Karenina. She's trying too hard. At times, it felt like she was trying to be Helena Bonham Carter. But Helena Bonham Carter doesn't belong in this movie either.

I would highly advise going and watching (or even reading) something else. Maybe the BBC dramatisation of War and Peace. Or Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Or just Pride and Prejudice. Just not this.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.