The Movie Anna Karenina

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I finally managed to get through the book Anna Karenina by Tolstoy last year thanks hugely to the audiobook and it took me almost as long to finally see the movie with Kiera Knightley.

And I was in my glory. Costumes! Setting & Stage!! DANCING! Drama, drama, drama. I was really enjoying it. I was approving of the unique styling and stage movements and yes, even the casting.

Until Vronsky made his appearance. He just didn’t do it for me. He looked like a fop. gagmeAK

He was not commanding enough. To be totally honest, he reminded me of Gene Wilder. Now, I love Gene Wilder!! but not as Vronsky.

This interpretation of AK just did not have me convinced that Anna would throw her life away for love with that man. I don’t buy it. Of course, I really can’t quite agree that Tolstoy convinced me either. And thus was too distracted in the viewing and began to analyze rather than being swept into the story. I started looking at the reviews on IMDB.com. Whoa. There are some serious haters there!

On the other hand, I did not mind the Levin – Kitty storyline in the movie. The actor portraying Levin was quite good. He gave him a gentler not-as-gruff side. levinAK

Overall, I enjoyed it enough visually and I respect the daring to interpret through a stage production concept but I did not become too enamored. But that’s OK; I wasn’t a huge fan of the book, either.

Book post –> here <–.

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23 Responses to “The Movie Anna Karenina”


  1. 1 Jennifer March 13, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Oh no, Gene Wilder! LOL! I do plan on watching this but I’d like to re-read the book first. One of these days.

  2. 3 Melissa March 13, 2013 at 9:27 am

    Bahaha Gene Wilder, you crack me up. I have been looking forward to seeing this one but now I’m going to be singing Willy Winka songs in my head!

  3. 5 Jeanne March 13, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I have to agree with you about the casting of Vronsky… and I had a childhood crush on Gene Wilder! (When I was 13, my cousin and I wrote him a fan letter in purple ink and scented with some perfume we’d gotten ahold of.)
    What I adored about this movie is the way they showed that anyone who had ever been disappointed in love–which is to say, everyone except Anna–learned to curb their own pride and give love even when the other person didn’t strictly deserve it. This is the reason for the Kitty/Levin subplot.
    The movie, with its literal “scenes” of Anna on stage, shows that Anna’s pride– wounded only by catty society matrons and their husbands and not by a man ever refusing to love her– is the biggest part of her and what leads to her doom.

    • 6 Care March 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you! Love your explanation. COOL.

      I take it Gene Wilder never wrote you back? I wrote Shaun Cassidy a fan letter and waited and waited and waited. Wrote him off after he failed to respond and switched all my loyalties to Ralph Macchio. I wisely never attempted correspondence with him.

      • 7 Jeanne March 13, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        No, Gene never wrote me back. God only knows where we got an address for him. I like to think that he saw our purple prose, though, because it was full of the kind of devotion only a 13-year-old girl can muster.

  4. 8 Spangle March 13, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Gene Wilde hehe! ‘Anna Karenina is one of those books that I would like to read, but feel a little scared to pick it up. I’m put off by this film because Keira Knightley is in it and I can’t stand her!

    • 9 Care March 13, 2013 at 4:13 pm

      Yep, it is no good when you can’t get past a disliked actor. Kind of like me and that sad girl who is in the Twilight movies. Although, she was better in the Snow White movie with Charlize Theron than I expected.

  5. 11 Bellezza March 13, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Gene Wilder! That’s perfect! I thought that while he could be called handsome, if not a skinny weakling, he in no way resembled the dark and powerful Vronsky I imaganied. I loved the novel, and I thought the costumes were terrific. I also thought Keira did a masterful job portraying Anna. But, Vronksy? Not so much.

  6. 13 kristi March 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I’m sad you didn’t like it. I agree that Vronsky was disappointing–weak in acting and poorly styled. I think it was Jenn at the picky girl who said he looked like he could be a fourth Jonas Brother. Ha!

    I did love Kitty and Levin in this movie. I wish there was more focus on them as I preferred their sections of the book. I’m glad that they included the block scene. It made me tear up.

  7. 15 Jenny March 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I’m still curious to see this movie — Tom Stoppard wrote it! Which is enough reason for me to see it all by itself.

  8. 17 bermudaonion(Kathy) March 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    My mother-in-law said the old one (from the ’40s I think) was better.

    • 18 Care March 14, 2013 at 6:58 am

      OOOooo! The one with Vivien Leigh? 1948 – I haven’t seen that one but I would like to. I have seen the 1935 Greta Garbo one but only remember the whiny Anna in that one, too. Saw it after my first attempt to read (and promptly gave up) the book, years ago.

  9. 19 bybee March 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    I saw the trailer the other night, so I guess it will be playing Korea soon. Only got a flash of Vronsky, but I was reminded of a baby Nicolas Cage.

  10. 20 bybee March 23, 2013 at 5:37 am

    OK, I just saw it. That stage stuff drove me crazy at first, but I managed to settle into the movie. Vronsky – def Gene Wilder, especially when he was doing all those turns on his heel and his hair was flopping madly. Keira Knightley’s back looks thin in an unhealthy way.

  11. 22 stacybuckeye March 24, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I will probably never read AK but the movie looks so beautiful that I do want to see it. Looks like I might be disappointed. If a girl’s gonna throw her life away it had better be worth it (I’m thinking of Aragorn from Lord of the Rings :))


  1. 1 Anna Karenina | Care's Online Book Club Trackback on March 13, 2013 at 9:18 am

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