I finally saw the 2012 remake of Anna Karenina and I am IN LOVE! First and foremost Keira Knightley can do no wrong in my eyes! She is in my favorite remake of Pride and Prejudice which clinches her awesome status in my book of life. Jude Law played Karinen perfectly as the epitome of reservation and righteousness in his title and in high society tradition. You can not only see but feel his pain, anguish, and mortification for his situation. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who was in Savages, is super hot and kind of femininely perfect for the role of Vronsky. I never really pictured Vronsky that way when I was reading the book but it worked for the strife between Anna and him. It was an excellent compliment to Anna’s extremely bi-polar highs and lows during their difficult relationship. Kelly Macdonald who you probably recognize from Boardwalk Empire played Dolly, who is Anna’s sister-in-law but always manages to make the most of every part I have ever seen her in. Dolly was the ever forgiving and naive victim of her husbands constant infidelity. Lastly but certainly not least Matthew Macfadyen, played opposite Keira in Pride and Prejudice, was exactly what I pictured when I saw Mr. Darcy in my mind and has been a crush of mine since. I am not sure another actor will ever top his work in that role but it was nice to see him do a 360 and be the philandering Oblonsky, brother of Anna who is a severe hot mess at life and love.
This version was breathtaking that is the only explanation I have for it. The scenery/set was one of the best parts of the entire movie. Most of it took place as if it were in a theater, on a stage, which I thought was lovely. The scenes between the toy train and actual train were imaginative and fit well into the idea of us being toys in this game of life. Almost every movement was lyrical and dance like which added a bit of a ballet feel to me. So many ballets are tragic just like Anna Karenina.
My absolute favorite part of the movie was the ball where Anna
and Vronsky dance. I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen. I am not sure if those were traditional Russian 19th century dances but they were amazingly elegant and quite sensual for that time period. It reminded me of a mix between Moulin Rouge and Romeo and Juliet (1996 version with Claire Danes and Leo Di Caprio). I don’t really have a better way of describing it but I was mesmerized. The exact scene with Kitty (a princess) watching helplessly, almost hyperventilating, while Anna and Vronsky dance as if they are the only two in world, coupled with the actual dance moves, I felt like I was there and could actually see the exact moment when Anna and Vronsky are falling in love.
Not many people can pull off re-imagined versions of classics. It is hard work to make something classic new again without ruining it. The cast was amazing, the scenery was exciting with the bright colors and patterns that are Russian tradition, the music made you long to hear more and of course the actual story made sure that this movie will be my favorite for life. I couldn’t stop watching it this weekend. I have been telling everyone I know they need to see it and see it immediately.