Anna Karenina (2012) - Drama, Romance

Hohum Score



In late-19th-century Russian high society, St. Petersburg aristocrat Anna Karenina enters into a life-changing affair with the dashing Count Alexei Vronsky.

IMDB: 6.6
Director: Joe Wright
Stars: Keira Knightley, Jude Law
Length: 129 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 69 out of 247 found boring (27.93%)

One-line Reviews (198)

Snoozer .

Transforming such a thoughtful, wordy, argumentative and carefully plotted novel into a series of disjointed, scenes, with no characterisation, let alone character development, puts Tolstoy in his place as the minor scribbler that he clearly was - particularly as he made no effort to write his novels in the style of the world's greatest authors, who, as we know write for Mills & Boon.

Director, Joe Wright, tried to put a fresh new face on Tolstoy's classic novel, and may have been influenced by the style of a Baz Luhrmann, but while Mr. Luhrmann's may have created an exciting alternative version, unfortunately Mr. Wright's vision is misguided.

Bright colours abound, together with striking chiaroscuro effects, and then the brilliance of jewels, the sumptuousness of dresses, everything perfectly combined to give an emotionally gripping drama, wisely counterbalanced by the vastness and purity of outdoor natural landscapes, which like impressionist paintings let fresh air enter our lungs and relieve our emotional stress.

Personally the words I would use are "atrocious" and "self indulgent".

Next, here comes the predestined adultery, which is fueled by the laborious emphasis on the enticement of the (not so inadvertent) eye contact, soon appears to be an over-contrived obligation to fornication other than following what your heart wants and the chemistry is purely physical, Anna and Vronsky should be soul-mate right?

Tolstoy's Anna is full-bodied, voluptuous, round, and mature; Keira Knightley, while a stunning beauty, needs to drink a few beers and eat some stew to put on some weight, and she is too young to have played the role of an older woman.

These unrealistic and stylised aspects were interesting, but they were unexpected and a little confusing.

Clever use of tableaux, surrealist elements and breathtaking visual images bring out the character's emotions so strongly that halfway through the film I felt like I wasn't a mere spectator anymore.

A beautiful bore .

I do see lots of layers (because pardon me all, but it has layers in its fabric, this new one), a lot of mundane stupidity and turmoils we see in our day to day as well.

The editing was exciting.

It is unwatchable, it makes me sick.

But if you are looking for a visually stunning piece of art, with history and drama, if you are ready to dive into people's inner world, you will greatly appreciate and enjoy this film.

Engaging story, artfully created with fine acting.

It was incredibly boring throughout.

Keira is cast as Anna, a bored trophy wife to stuffy government official, Count Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin (Jude Law looking uncharacteristically severe).

Gimmicky, boring.

Then are times when a character who is standing on the empty stage will exit through the back of the stage, sliding open huge doors and exiting into a real snowy landscape.

Not that the acting is bad; it just is not important to the director's goals, which seems to be to bore the audience with a lot of pretentious baubles and stage tricks until enough frustration sets in to make us mercifully flick it off!

In this day and age, is there any serious interest in the narrative of the whining, bored, spoiled housewife that decides she wants a root.

I said OK, Keira as Anna, it will be difficult to watch, her being such an inappropriate actress for this role, but in the end all the other parts of the movie made me say this is a huge waste of time...

The first half of the movie was fantastic, exciting and lively.

There is a lot of melodrama as well but it comes across as forced, while the switching from play-within-a-play to film is confusing.

I agree with the review of mark below:"Contrived, forced and pretentious, this movie is over worked, 7 September 2012 5/10 Author: mark from London, East GrinsteadIt took me about an hour to stop being irritated by the movie's self consciousness, to sort of enjoy it...

Save your money.

How boring.

Even Jude Law was mega bland, to the point of being annoying, in my opinion.

I maybe felt empty.

Those that left early should have stayed.

Soon, Anna is overwhelmed with a relationship that is passionate and exciting, very unlike her marriage.

In conclusion a disappointment even on its own, for me a beautiful bore is a very apt summing up as to how I felt about it.

Second half all soap and pointless .

They all do well enough to keep the movie entertaining, without really setting the world alight.

It also made me want to read the source novel itself to see how such a mundane story of unfaithfulness be as timeless as this one had been.

Emotionally gripping, and visually stunning .

The final product is stunning: the contrast between the claustrophobic interiors, and the breathing outdoors, mirroring the contrast between the artificiality of aristocratic life and the true life of countrymen, is fully rendered through vivid and striking images.

And last but not least, the soundtrack was wonderful, the costumes were stunning, I really wish it will win an Oscar for Best Costume Design, because it deserves it.

And I agree with all the people who question whether the performance metaphor for the artificiality of Russian society is effective, considering it's dragged out so long instead of just used as a framing device (as it is in both Olivier's and Branagh's versions of Henry V).

By the end of this scene change, not I only did I have no idea what was happening, I was dizzy, nauseated, and bored.

It's just empty, lame try to jump over your head.

And what about all that pretentious theatre stuff?

Fortunately, once it got to the second act and focused on the simple story it was absolutely compelling.

In a way it's similar to what was done with "Moulin Rouge" but somehow that worked; this one just leaves you at first confused, then bored, then frustrated.

This film is stunning to me how the direction is making a period piece like I have never seen before as so much happens in the theatre.

The point is that Wright's approach puts passion, glamor and attractiveness in a story which is basically quite boring and even dull (why the whole world is so crazy about it and it is on the top of the "love stories of all times" lists will always stay a mystery to me).

A theatrical play within a film, the kaleidoscopic scenery in this adaptation of Tolstoy's tome is rewarding enough to overlook its tedious sub-plot and amoral leads.

A fantastic, emotionally charged, invigorating & thrilling first hour that becomes a plodding, laborious chore to watch.

The entire film felt stagy and contrived.

If you want to see this story from another point of view (I believe), if you want to see breathtaking sets and costumes and strong style, this is the film for you.

I grew bored of watching the selfish child-like antics.

I particularly found the steeplechase scene and the Moscow-theater scene to be compelling, stunning, and magical.

Self Indulgent and vacuous .

We were all SOOOOO bored and having to stifle our laughter that in the end, the only kind thing to do was to leave and not disturb the other patrons.

The presentation was just incredibly confusing and obtuse.

A virile young man in contrast to her stark and boring husband who does not seek love.

Or rather, after the explosion of the stunning first hour, much of director Joe Wright's (Hanna, Atonement) work is undone with a plodding second half that prompts yawns, frequent glances at the watch and, in the case of the woman in front with my footprint on the back of her head, near-constant use of her phone.

One of cinema's greatest aspects, its ability to encompass the best scenery and sets available, was nowhere to be found in Karenina, leaving viewers disappointed and thoroughly bored.

don't waste your time, this is an insult to Tolstoy .

Anna Karenina is an enjoyable film, though it lacks a few characteristics to make it grand.

It was very boring, the story if there was one was difficult to follow much like the way it was directed.

Fortunately the great direction of Joe Wright made this a memorable and fascinating experience, which shows under a new light the characters and themes of the original story.

One area which I thought was slightly forgotten was the fascinating part of the plot regarding Levin (Domhnall Gleeson).

#keiraknightley is absolutely fascinating!

It's mind blowing when there is a scene starting at the theatre (inside the film) and at some point the scene continues and the drama of the theatre play becomes the story of the film itself.

The pretentious way in which the Director wanted this to be a film and a play was distracting and frankly left this viewer and his wife confused.

Part of the Russian aristocratic circle Anna lives for her son, Seryozha, and various social functions where she can sparkle in a series of gorgeous gowns (look out for the ruffled bustled affair in purple silk with which she opens the film - stunning).

The first act is not bad at all, but the second act slogs along at a rate that is punishingly slow, which also affects the final act as well.

it's a tribute to Tolstoy that his story came through the fog of metaphor and cliché, from the stage set play-within-a-movie (our only guess as to meaning is that they were skimping on location shooting) to actors twirling around each other to tearing up letters (and with them any semblance of meaning to life) - to the point of tossing the scraps up, only to come down as snow (could it get worse?

bored me.

Some of the imagery was just to clever for its own good, ending up feeling pretentious.

It was hard to follow at times and I quickly became uninterested in the characters and their plight.

Combined with the dramatic romantic and tragic flair of the plot, and the aesthetic beauty of the costumes and backdrop, this movie is visually entertaining.

It was visually stunning.

I really enjoyed it.

This can be seen as contradictory by how he in the book with a somewhat slow painful tone portrayed women, their duties and services.

On the audio side, this latest screen version of "Anna Karenina" starts with a familiar Russian folk tune (from grade school days, with lyrics "birch tree standing there, in the meadow") that is reprised throughout the movie with different shades of mood, from brisk and playful to languid and somber.

Highbrow reviews love to refer to the famous bashing of Anna by her society, and that's important, but what's central is Anna's confusion.

The stilted transition, the artsy fartsy staging, the awkward mis en scene of this movie made it a farce of a masterpiece that was done so beautifully with Vivien Leigh and Fredreich March before.

In fact, the story is fast paced, dissimilar to most period costume pieces.

A great cast poorly used in a pretentious adaptation.

What a shame it follows a fantastic, emotionally charged, invigorating and thrilling first hour.

)Having seen previous film versions of "Anna Karenina" and knowing the story and the characters, it's fascinating to see how familiar scenes are presented in this stylized production.

The characters seem to be immersed in a theatrical world where sets and scenes unashamedly change before our very eyes.

In the same vein, the film isn't afraid to make Anna look self involved, and actually makes Jude Law, doing some of his best work as Anna's boring, uptight and pious husband, arguably the most sympathetic character, The film refuses to give Anna and her lover a 'get out of jail emotionally free' card.

That first hour is stunning.

It's been said that a film is only as good as its last fifteen minutes, in which case Anna Karenina is a plodding, laborious chore to watch.

Those who have no idea who Anna Karenina is and what the movie is all about, will get a rare opportunity to repair an educational gap in a quite entertaining way.

However, this movie reminded me of a disjointed circus act that was both frustrating and disappointing.

Which may have been fine as a framing device for the film, but he carries it through the entire thing until it becomes tedious.

Slow in its developing, entangled in the plot, the movie wasted the great plot the writer presented and, despite the good performance of the protagonists, in particular Jude Law, leaves a feeling of confusion and frustration of what is expected to see.

An example of the masterful subtlety is the long scene that has the dialogue 'my god, my god' followed by the slow raising of eyes to the heavens as the characters eventually grasp the import of the remark.

All in all, it's one very confused (slightly pretentious) and even at-times annoying movie of a very important story that should not have been 'impaired' in this manner.

It was a wonderful love story with very compelling story lines.

If only Ms. Watson could travel back in time and join her stunning gifts with those of Garbo!

This Anna is a new and exciting way to experience the well-known story.

It is a pretentious bore, not unlike the novel.

Other punters will be insufferably bored by the storyline, dizzy from the endless, rapid-fire dance and love sequences and the terrible music soundtrack.

Given the mammoth task set him, Tom Stoppard makes an admirable attempt at making the severely edited story flow smoothly but various subplots that are necessary to add depth and variation from the tense core plot line feel disconnected and almost superfluous, enjoyable strands that never fully entwine.

It's tiresome.

It's pretentious, plodding, vacuous and over long with some seriously sub-standard performances in something that should have been Oscar bait.

Worth Watching if you like Reading Tolstoy .

Somehow, it managed to enroll its plot in a lengthy and boring way, with little interest gained along the way.

Disjointed, hyper and hollowed out .

What I really want to say: Joe Wright's «Anna Karenina» doesn't require any credits because of ethnic differences etc etc - this is an artwork and it's worth watching.

If you like pretentious, over-stylized film-making, this is the film for you.

Sometimes this feels more like the social satire of Chekhov, than the deeply felt prose of Tolstoy, and it can get slow and repetitive in spots.

But then, halfway through the movie, I got bored.

All critical reviews are long and tedious, but the film is short, with exciting feelings and has a good taste.

I was really afraid to see this movie after several negative reviews and some positive, i was afraid to be irritated (worst thing that happens to you while watching movie, cause you cannot even fall asleep that you really want, irritation doesn't let you).. and i was really delighted after 10 min of watching a movie, cause it's DIFFERENT from my expectations, and you don't even think of criticizing.

The women in the film are still pretty to look at (especially Alicia Vikander) and the film is filled with other stunning visuals.

Jude Law surprised me, it was very unexpected from him to play the role like that, and he did a very good job.

I was on the edge of my seat only because the fear was so great that they'd at some point break out into song and dance.

Was it an intense and passionate need to film this classic novel by Leo Tolstoy?

(The poor still have nothing, but the rich have so much more, like DVD's full of empty glamorous movies like this.


" The story is an afterthought, as if the director was bored with it and just wanted to over decorate it until it was so obscured by his elaborate decor that it virtually disappears into his experimentation in set, costume design, and cinematography.

I went to see the film in the hope of being absorbed and immersed in a great story with great characters.

Really stunning.

Even if you're rooting against Keira because of her serious lack of judgement, it really is an engrossing film with many elements to appreciate, including a supporting cast with Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Holliday Grainger, Ruth Wilson, Michelle Dockery, and Emily Watson.

Visually stunning...

The scenes and costumes were breathtaking.

Both of these were good films and highly worth watching.

To see an actor once noted for his youthful good looks now cast as the dreary, physically unattractive, middle-aged husband of an unfaithful younger wife came as a powerful reminder of the passage of time.

The cinematography is beautiful, as are the sets and the costumes, but they also add to the confusion of the film.

The scenes are breathtaking and costumes are exquisite.

His "Anna Karenina", however, is sensual and stunning and I can only recommend it.

He is softer and kindlier than Rathbone, and he's shown to be a good man, especially in the closing scene, but it was wrong to make his face, in frequent closeups, so completely inexpressive, and to make him so boring as a person, and so repellent as a husband/lover.

The actors are absolutely committed and deliver across the board stunning performances, especially Jude Law, Domhnall Gleeson and a truly transcendent Alicia Vikander.

In my case, I'm really glad they did it right this time, I enjoyed it.

Wright's eccentric direction, in fact, is something worse than merely a pointless gimmick.

or not), but if you let it, the movie will be intriguing while on its journey

Overall Anna Karenina had some good ideas, but is basically just a generic snorefest.

Further, the screenplay focuses mostly in her affair like a boring soap opera and for those that have not read the romance or seen the other versions, she seems to be a promiscuous and insecure woman and not a woman in love in a repressive society.

A interesting take, but if you are first greeted by it without knowing the message, it can be highly disarming or confusing to the viewer.

Bravo to everyone involved, from the costumes, production design, choreography, musical soundtrack and especially Tom Stoppard's absolutely breathtaking screenplay.

Visually breathtaking .

Jude Law is steely, controlled and intense as the cuckold.

" But then to my horror, they continued this practice throughout the entire movie, causing much confusion on what the hell was actually going on.

Visually, the film is absolutely stunning.

The problems that I have with some period dramas such as dull ideas and duller characters felt a million miles away as I watched, transfixed with a smile on my face.

All the acting performances were excellent, no complaint, but this was the worst kind of self indulgent "I want to get critical plaudits" direction possible.

Got boring .

Sometimes this conceit works brilliantly and other times the artificiality of the enterprise seems overwrought and pretentious, with one too many self- contained tableau arrangements.

The film is done in a slight Baz Lurman style but would even offend those fans with its confusing scene changes and lack of scripting.

Even though I didn't end up adding this one to my permanent collection, it was very entertaining.

I don't see why this gets so much hate: Personally I think that this was such a great film, and Keira Knightley was outstanding here, doing one of the most brilliant and fascinating performances of her entire career.

The sub-plot is engaging and diverting.

Despite the difficulty in adapting the novel I feel the movie did succeed in some ways and makes this film worth the watch.

It was entertaining and passionate and is now one of my favorite movies.

We had no idea what was going on, but it was enjoyable.

I felt the movie was too artificial and contrived.

Along with many great writers including Balzac, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, and Turgenev, Russian author Leo Tosltoy has a reputation for realist fiction, an attention to the mundane, to the experiences of every day life as opposed to a highly stylized or romantic approach.

Quite possibly the worst movie- ever .

It was a great movie and stunning for its cinematography.

A new and exciting way to enjoy an old story.

The result is engaging and provocative.

Indeed, I now feel marginally better about the horrid excesses of Russell's career after seeing this half-baked, insufferably pretentious, imitation-clever, essentially lifeless, gee-kids-let's-do-the-show-here version of Tolstoy's masterpiece.

I can't stand Levin in the novel, but he turns out to be the 'good' guy in the movie (which is nonsense for he's very conservative, seigniorial, superior, ignorant, against invention and can't stand babies, etc. in short, a very boring man) ...

What a pretentious, over-the-top melodrama...

This is one of the worst movies of the year - save yourself the money and buy the book, if you insist.

The costumes and set designs were breathtaking.

Here we go again, folks; Joe - all I want is a Golden Rivet Award from ANY Festival in the world even the Rain Forest at a pinch - Wright is back working with Keira - I'm sooo beautiful I'm scared to look in the mirror in case I knock myself up - Knightly and for good measure they're roped in Tom (pretentious,Moi?

Vronsky, with those blue eyes, blond locks, stiff movements and bland facial expressions reminds more of a china doll than a dark, handsome, charming and intense character that Karenina falls for.

With Anna hogging the spotlight, the rest of the cast seldom has any chance to enrich their roles, Macfadyen (Knightley's Mr. Darcy in PRIDE & PREJUDICE) plays her luscious brother Oblonsky, adequately amps up some farcical digressions; as a mirrored romance between the rejected and the neglected (contrasts Anna and Vronsky's passion play), Gleeson and Vikander imbue the film with a modicum of subtlety but the wayward editing fail to make their story more engaging.

A Stunning Film.

Taking liberties with a great classic for the sake of making it film-worthy is one thing, but this confused and confusing attempt wound up less than effective and an interminable bore to boot.

Would I have been bored with out it?

the music was beautiful and evocative...

Contrived, forced and pretentious, this movie is over worked .

What a waste of a lot of money and lavish costumes and the talents of many actors.

This slower pace, really taking its time to get to the major story elements, makes Anna Karenina feel like it is longer than it really is (never an endearing quality of a motion picture).

Unwatchable .

About a quarter way through I had to be nudged to stop me snoring, by half way through I really was losing the will to live and by the three quarters mark actively on the edge of my seat egging Anna/Keira to drink more morphine.

How many times will there be a bored woman looking for a deeper love and deciding to leave her family to pursue the forbidden.

Unfortunately the finished product turns out a disappointment: director Wright seems to have little idea how to develop the screenplay, other than to indulge in a series of consciously 'artificial' shots - for example, zooming into the characters' faces, or using a deliberately jagged narrative style - that render the action difficult to follow.

Boring Mindless Dribble .

The extremely unattractive style and poor acting abilities of Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Vronsky made this movie unbearable to watch.

Director Joe Wright's adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's 1877 novel Anna Karenina is one of the most visually stunning and artistically bold films I've seen in quite some time.

Finally, around the hour mark or so, the style starts to slow down and this is where the story really came to life and the film took off.

Artsy Fartsy Jumble .

Worth watching for sure, and will be appreciated more in the future when people will come to realize how it was done.

The pace of the film and the often pointlessly soaring music are so busy that they kill off the character that Tolstoy was conveying about that era's languid upper class Russia.

It was way too long, and even faked out it's ending on occasion.

The result is a visually stunning film that just plain sucks!

However Jude Law is also the most convincing emotionally, despite being a little dull he conveys how much he cares for Anna beneath his stolid exterior and I felt the most sympathy with him by the end of the story.

I thought the movie was very entertaining and kept me interested the whole time.

Her part here needed to be much deeper and more complex, but instead it was shallow and trite.

Although, the ballroom scene which may have showed the frivolity and hypocrisy of proper Russian upper class society was slightly annoying and drawn out.

The idea of the stage was unique but made for confusion and at times annoyance.

The movie was dull, boring, incredibly distant from the passion of Anna and her lover.

Both got tiresome in their selfishness and petulance.

It's mutual, intense, Romeo-and-Juliet reciprocated love from the first sight between a married woman and a player.

It's so boring.

To be fair, the novel is only 846 pages long and the film rolls out a full 130 minutes but somehow it manages to feel both rushed and incredibly slow.

Elegant and Boring Misfire .

A high-class boredom .

Carnal ecstasy with irresistible romantic lover Vronsky eventually turns sour when she has to face practical problems such as divorce which will have the unbearable consequence of being shut out completely from the life of her pre-teen, closely bonded son to whom "the most important person in my life is mother".