Grant's Review of Anna Karenina
My roommate Jonathan and friend Miah and I took a trip Thursday to the Fort Wayne Cinema Center to get our one and only chance to see Anna Karenina in theaters. Jonathan is a big fan of the novel while I have had no knowledge of the story. What drew me to see this film was the fact that for one I love movies and two I love period pieces. Plus I got to see it in its native 35mm print, which was sublime.
Anna Karenina can be best described as an artistic experiment. Director, Joe Wright draws from the theater and Opera to make one of the most magnificent set choices and production design decisions I have ever seen in a movie. A majority of the movie takes place at an opera house with the stage holding a majority of the the dramatic twist and turns found in the story. Because the stage houses allot of the action, we see character able to look on as the audience of a of the drama that is there own life.
This is truly a visionary film that many could scrutinize as being too much, but I have to thoroughly disagree. Again and again the film makers are able to take me away from my world and into this amazing mix of theater and cinema. There is one scene that takes place around a toy train track and transitions into Anna's travels on what seems to be the same train. Soon after we see her on the train we forget that we believed her train to be the very same as the toy. The production design by Sarah Greenwood is remarkable to say the least. The set is not stationary in this movie, it is constantly changing to fit the story, we see the biggest example of this at the beginning of the film which opens with perfectly precise set choreography that left me stunned. The story was well told in this fascinating world and i felt very welcomed back to one of my first loves, that is the theater.
I thought each actor fit their part and I really have no scrutiny towards them. Keira Knightley is what you can expect from Keira Knightley in a period piece. But I think the best performance here was by Alicia Vikander as Kitty. I find that her character goes through the biggest and most redeemable change, she plays a once shallow young girl that grows to becoming a humble and loving wife.
Anna Karenina is gorgeous, a truly remarkable film. I highly recommend it.