Critics seems largely divided over the fifth film version of Leo Tolstoy‘s “Anna Karenina.”
In the 2012 retelling, Keira Knightley takes on a role previously inhabited by Jacqueline Bisset, Greta Garbo, Sophie Marceau and Vivien Leigh. She’s directed by Joe Wright, whom she worked with in both “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement.”
Here is what some of the top film reviewers have to say about the Focus Features release:
“It takes a fair amount of excavating to reach Leo Tolstoy’s contribution to director Joe Wright’s very busy movie …” — Lisa Schwarzbaum
“There are times when it is not quite clear if we are looking at characters in a story or players on a stage. Productions can sometimes upstage a story, but when the story is as considerable as ‘Anna Karenina,’ that can be a miscalculation.” — Roger Ebert
“If you thought the director’s five-and-a-half-minute tracking shot in ‘Atonement’ was show-offy, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (‘Shakespeare in Love’) have taken Leo Tolstoy’s literary behemoth about love, betrayal and death among the elite in imperial Russia and boldly set it almost entirely within a decaying theater.” — Christy Lemire
“Mr. Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’ is different. It is risky and ambitious enough to count as an act of artistic hubris, and confident enough to triumph on its own slightly — wonderfully — crazy terms.” –A.O. Scott
Do you plan to see “Anna Karenina” this weekend? Come back and tell us what you think in the comments section.