by Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4.5 (Out of 5 Reels)

I absolutely love period pieces and am a huge fan of Keira Knightly (Anna Karenina), Jude Law (Karenin) and Matthew McFadden (Oblonsky); consequently nothing was going to stop me from seeing this film.  Aristocrat Anna Karenina lives in Russian high-society in the late nineteenth century and enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

This film looks rich.  It was primarily shot in a theater which at first I found weird but must admit it grew on me.  One of the first scenes that made me realize this is not a typically made film was when Anna (Knightly) went out in the streets of Russia, the only problem is that she never actually left the building but rather went up to the cat walk which was transformed into a street scene.  Random people were walking, standing and talking as if they were on an actual city street; interesting to say the least.

I absolutely love watching a film where all of the elements; acting, directing, staging and effects come together in a new and exciting way.  This is one of those unique films.  I was especially impressed by a horse racing scene because it was all done on the stage; spectacularly difficult I would imagine and fun to watch unfold.  I believe it is easy to tell when the writing of a film is well done my how much I enjoy the characters and I was completely drawn into their plight which is rarely accomplished in most of the films I see.

There are no over the top computer generated scenes in this film but I felt like I was watching something new and cutting edge based on the manner in which it was made.  I would recommend this film to anyone.  Although this is basically a love story its parts add up to more than just that which makes it a must see in my book.

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