Occasionally, a movie comes out that begs the question, “Really, what was the point of that?”
Congratulations to director Joe Wright, star Keira Knightley and writer Tom Stoppard.
The track record for these three is nothing short of stellar, but they’ve managed to make Anna Karenina perhaps the most confounding picture of 2012.
For example, why film the movie partly on stage, with all the fuss of a theatrical production? One gets what could be a reason: These people, despite the verisimilitude of the novel, have parts to play in a society that demands certain things, and therefore their actions have specific consequences. Therefore, they are but actors on a stage. OK, fine.
But that’s 1) just a guess, and 2) the movie switches back and forth from dramatically blocked and photographed stage play to ornate, if realist, film so often that the changes become distracting.
It would be wonderful if the filmmakers meant the back-and-forth between these disparate media to mirror the metaphorical shifting tectonic plates beneath Anna Karenina’s feet, but I doubt it. It just feels as if it’s meant to be pretty.
UA DeVargas 6, R, 129 min.