Atonement, Pride & Prejudice, Hanna… Joe Wright is one of my favorite directors right now. Not only is his choice of actors always exquisite, his movies also shine with the best cinematography you can get. In his new project, once again with muse Keira Knightley who has finally seemed to have specialized in tragic time period roles only, he has a try at Leo Tolstoi’s famous adultery novel “Anna Karenina”.
As almost all of the scenes in the whole movies take place on a stage, making you feel like the theater audience with special backstage insights, the movie is given a special feeling to it right from the beginning. This technique works fantastically, even though I was skeptical while watching the trailer. The whole scenery in general looks absolutely fabulous, every scene works for itself. On that score, the movie is a masterpiece. The cast delivers very solid performances, although I feel that no one really stood out, however, maybe that was the screenplay’s fault.
That leads me to the weakness of the film, which is the plot itself. I have rarely seen such a heavy movie in my life with such few light moments so that the few light moments, especially in the end, are almost too appreciated. Blame Tolstoi, I’m sure the novel has exactly the same tonality! Maybe the screenplay should have been loosened up a bit and not centered on 3 persons only in order to take away some of the drooping moments.
All in all, however, a movie made with so much love for adequacy and detail, a cast stunning to look at and the fascinating beginning and end, a magical movie that dares to give you something different in terms of setting events in scene, despite being a mass release!