For those of you who demand a "faithful" adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel, don't watch this movie. Let me say it again, a movie adaptation is a movie and NOT a book.
But for those who expect a creative interpretation of Tolstoy's novel, this one is for you. Tom Stoppard's screenplay and Joe Wright's direction of Anna Karenina project the passion and torments of love on a grand scale. And Keira Knightley's intensity burns up that big screen.
After reading that Tom Stoppard was doing the screenplay, I was excited what he would do with the novel's sprawl. I wasn't disappointed by his choice to locate most of the scenes in a claustrophobic theater hall, complete with the backstage machinery that makes spectacles happen onstage. The setting becomes a character in itself, as it locates the movie's audience as spectators. And so Roger Ebert says in his review, Anna who is caught up in her love for Vronsky "doesn't seem to realize that the audience is right there and paying close attention."
With Joe Wright's masterful direction, the audience (well, at least I was) gets carried along in the waltz (it felt like that, with the cameras sashaying along) among the characters in this sumptuous grand ball of a movie. ✍
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