1 min read

2023 In Film: Anna Karenina (2012)

I also want to watch more movies in 2023. I'll be tracking that journey on Letterboxd but also reposting those here in the interests of not having all my content existing solely on platforms I don't control. Here ya go:

Knew nothing about this flick other than "kinda liked the book when I read it in college" and "i am in the mood for something period-piece-y".

So the wife and I were a bit surprised when it turned out to be more of a surrealist fever dream than a straight adaptation. And we liked it. A lot!

Heavy early 21st century vibes on the casting: Kiera Knightly! Jude Law (fucking fantastic here as the ascetic cuckold Karenin)! Tom from Succession! Mary from Downton Abbey!

I don't know the guy who plays Vronsky at all but he's got powerful "rough draft of Timothee Chamalet" energy and it works great in the role.

Particularly enjoyed the intensely-choreographed set pieces that are used for many major scenes. Lotta work had to go into these and they translate the emotions and inner thoughts that took Tolstoy pages upon pages to give the reader in a wonderfully efficient visual manner.

Of course, that Anna is a completely fuckin' unlikable wretch of a person doesn't make it easy to root for her as a protagonist, but Knightly fills the role with all the vituperative energy of a woman who thinks she's being wronged even though she's actually the one leaving a trail of blood through her loved ones with every step she takes.

Visually beyond lush, yet somehow intimate even with the rather large cast and varied settings... I greatly enjoyed how this movie translates the book to the big screen.