"Joe Wright's energetic adaptation of Tolstoy's classic romance is a bold, visually stylized work -- for both better and for worse."
LOL!!! Perfectly sums up the movie's reaction actually: You like it or you don't
http://news.moviefone.com/2012/11/14...n_2130922.htmlmoviefone likes it, and lists its pros and cons which I think everyone will probably agree with.
When does RT decided whether a movie is 'fresh' or not...?
Will this beat The Soloist for Wright's worst-reviewed film?
Ang Lee - The only 2x Bafta/DGA/Oscar-Winning Director!
Meryl on Oscars: Y’see these little babies? These are my best f***ing friends
and they never let me down. Try to get ‘em away from me and I’ll eat you alive.
Dying to know what star rating Travers gave it. 3.5 or 4.
And Michael Phillips.
Ebert is an anglophile who loves Keira/Wright
is Ebert really relevant anymore anyways?
I just came back from a screening. Well, it was, um, interesting.
Some scenes worked for me, others didn't. The whole theatrical approach was inventive and intriguing, it worked in some sequences (the ballroom, the horserace, the opera) and it worked beautifully, because it showed the aristocracy's hypocrisy brilliantly. But there were scenes where it was obviously used to impress the audiences. The first fifteen or so minutes were awkward, mostly because this approach didn't work. Changing the sets was weird, but kind of promising. But then it was completely forgotten as a visual device. The third act of the film takes place entirely in the corridors and bedrooms of Vronsky and Anna's apartment, and the stage thing was suddenly remembered in the very last scene of the film. Like, whatever.
Anyway, Wright's approach is interesting and it was risky for him to do something so different. Sometimes it worked and it was a visual feast and underlined the book's ideas wonderfully. But there were also moments when it simply didn't work at all.
The screenplay was a mess, and I was really disappointed by the way everything was handled so awkwardly. For instance, I liked that Levin's story was the film's emotional core, and both Gleeson and Vikander were quite good and handled it well, but it was completely forgotten for large portions of the film. And Anna's emotional breakdown throughout the third act was handled very poorly. It could have been much more developed. There were some awkward dialogues here and there (for example, the scene when Anna is on the bed, about to give birth to her daughter and calls her husband). Lots of underdeveloped subplots, and underwritten characters. It was the most disappointing aspect of the film.
Now, in terms of the film's techs, it was a triumph. It's so going to be nominated for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. It's such a lush and visually rich production, both the set decoration and production design were absolutely sublime. The score was very good, not as inventive as Atonement's or as melodic as Pride & Prejudice's, but it captured the Russian society perfectly, and featured some grand emotional themes that will be remembered. The cinematography was also pretty impressive in several scenes (most of the countryside scenes were fantastic) and I loved this kinetic and fluid feel that the film had. I don't know if it's going to be nominated for the Oscar, though.
The performances were fine. I personally really liked Domnhall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, they were both lovely in their supporting roles. Kelly McDonald, Olivia Williams, Emily Watson, Ruth Wilson etc. were criminally underused, such a shame. MacFadyen was funny, but his role was pretty much one-note. Jude Law gave a very controlled and balanced performance, but I thought he would have had more screentime. Johnson was not good, but I expected that from the moment I saw the first footage from the film. Now, Keira Knightley. She's the protagonist and Wright's muse in the film. I thought her performance was alright. She doesn't top her lovely work in 'Pride & Prejudice', unfortunately. There were moments when she uses her stoicism brilliantly (for instance, the entire finale scene or the scene when she visits her son near the end of the film, and then talks with Vronsky. Or the scene at the opera). She was truly wonderful in those scenes. She played with her character's immaturity very well, and she was wonderfully cold and detached when she had to. She also managed to show her character's weaknesses despite the bad script. But both the script and Wright's overwhelming direction don't let her shine. There were moments of brilliance and then there are moments when she's devoured by the film's flaws. Oh, and there are two-three moments when she's supposedly very neurotic and pulls some weird chin/facial expressions which were awkward, lol (not 'A Dangerous Method' bad, but pretty close). So yeah, inconsistent performance. When she's good, she's really good, though. I highly doubt she gets nominated for the Oscar. The film's way too divisive and its more of an artistic/directional achievement. The acting is overshadowed by the technical elements.
All in all, I feel pretty mixed about this. There were scenes I loved, where the execution was genius, and the acting was solid, but the screenplay's flaws, and Wright's risky approach don't always work, and when they don't work, they're kind of painful to experience.
Best Costume Design.
Best Production Design.
Best Original Score.
Best Leading Actress.
Last edited by NoirJo; 11-14-2012 at 04:38 PM.