149. Anna Karenina (B-)
This will be my final new theatrical experience for the year, based on what's scheduled to come in.
Joe Wright's first two movies were brilliant, but he got tons of flack from people accusing him of being the return of James Ivory, which led to him straying off to prove them wrong by making The Soloist
, which I didn't see (like most people), and Hanna
, which was quite interesting; even now, returning to classic literature adaptation in an historical setting, he was motivated to throw out his plans for a traditional version in favour of this highly experimental staging. It...kind of works. I'd kind of like to see what the more traditional approach would have looked like. The deliberately stagey approach is interesting, and seems like a shoo-in for the Production Design Oscar, but it also calls attention to the artifice of the proceedings, so it's hard to care about the characters a lot of the time.
Though regardless they would have to deal with the miscasting of Vronsky, which is, needless to say, a problem. Keira Knightley does very well as the title character, and there's a knockout supporting performance from Alicia Vikander (also in A Royal Affair
this year, which I haven't seen yet but plan to), among many familiar faces Wright has recruited (including Knightley's Pride & Prejudice
love interest Matthew Macfadyen, amusingly playing her brother here. Jude Law is also very strong, as Anna's jilted husband, who the movie plays as a sympathetic character (moreso than Anna, even), a decidedly unusual choice.
Cinema: 54 (+1)
Home Video: 82