Lazy Movie Review: Anna Karenina

karen INA

Premise:  It’s that one movie my girlfriend really wanted to see in theaters.



90% of the film takes place in one building, with the concept of a constantly developing theatrical production as the style.  A curtain opens, and the stage and backstage area of the building become the location of most of the scenes.  It goes on really steadily for the first 20 minutes or so and it’s actually pretty cool.  They keep going back to the concept throughout the movie, but several scenes take place outside or in a bigger environment.  And other scenes don’t flow as well.  So I really liked the moving playhouse concept, and if they would have been able to keep it going consistently throughout the whole film, I would have found that to be pretty damn impressive.  This would have been a great movie for Wes Anderson to have directed.

-This seems like the kind of movie that was created for the sole purpose of winning the Art Direction and Costume Design Academy Awards.  And it probably deserves them.

-Above average cinematography.

-The movie was probably way cheaper than it looks.  But that’s just an assumption.

-Dialogue.  Dialogue.  Dialogue.  Dialogue.  MAN GETS RUN OVER BY TRAIN.  Dialogue.  Dialogue.

-The kid who plays Kick-Ass was in this.  He was charmingly smarmy.

-I thought it was going to be way more boring than it was.  I was actually entertained throughout *most* of it.



-Poor pacing, and obviously too long.  You can watch 30 seconds of the trailer and assume that this movie is going to be long and poorly paced.

-If you ask me what my least favorite type of movie is, my stock answer is usually “romantic period piece starring Keira Knightley.”  And here we are.

-I know it’s based on a really old book, but the story is painfully simple.  It’s predictable, mundane, and nothing special.  It presents no new ideas, and this modern adaptation didn’t bother to upgrade the intensity of the story at all.  It’s lackluster love triangle garbage.

-Oh, the dancing is supposed to be symbolic…  I see…

-It took me a while to figure out who all the characters were, and what they did for a living.  Are they royalty?  Are they just rich?  The word princess is getting thrown around a lot.  Princess of what?

-There were a couple of scenes where I totally spaced out and have no idea what happened.  As always, I blame the movie for these kinds of moments; for not being entertaining enough to hold my attention.  CATER TO MY NEEDS, MOVIE!

-Anna goes from just a slightly terrible person to an absolutely bizarre psycho in the matter of about 45 seconds.  Honestly, a scene started near the end of the movie and she’s just yelling “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!  ARE YOU GOING TO LEAVE ME?!   I SHOULD KILL MYSELF” (cries uncontrollably) out of nowhere.  The guy she was yelling at in the movie looked about as confused as I was, “Uhhh, Anna..  what the hell are you talking about?  I just said we’d visit my Mother on Friday instead of tomorrow.”

-What was the deal with the redheaded guy finding love with the blonde girl?  It was like 25 minutes of screen time!  Was it to show the opposite side of the love spectrum?  Anna’s relationships are awful, but this unrelated guy loosely connected to her through her brother has a great relationship?  Guess what, I can assume the opposite of a terrible relationship is a great one, so it doesn’t need to be shoved in my face like this.  I would have cut all of that crap out of the movie, it was long enough as is.

-So the moral of the story is that Anna is a horrible person, and her ex-husband is way better off without her?  I guess.


Final Thoughts:  I went into this movie with an open mind, and without the immediate assumption that it would be terrible.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was fairly watchable.  But was it good?  Oh, definitely not.  There came a point in the movie where I started to lose my patience.  About 2/3rds through the film it just clicked in my brain that this movie has shown me everything it has to show me, and there’s still 40 minutes left.  But I’m not really the target audience for this kind of thing.  I thoroughly enjoyed Hobo With a Shotgun.

6 out of 10

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