[Please imagine here a lovely picture of Christine and Jeannette standing by the giant AK movie cutout sign-board thingy. If you’re really imaginative you can see Jeannette pretending to kiss Vronsky. Too bad the picture is trapped on my phone.]
Doorbells and Sleigh Bells and Schnitzel with Noodles:
1.The ‘choreography’ of the opening scene. I have no idea how long it lasted – 15-20 minutes maybe longer? But the entire spilling of the original plot moves like a giant ballet. No, maybe an opera. Strike that, a musical. I felt as thought they would break into song at any moment. Well, some of the characters walking by did sing a little tune I found myself humming today. Oh, and the dancing! The dancing!
2. The actress that plays Kitty, and the adorable, memorable, romantic, yet real way she and Levin played out the initial game to confess their love. She sold me on the relationship, on her youth, on her goodness, and on love.
3. Vronsky. As I read the book I had one opinion of Vronsky: Jerk. There was probably more to him in the novel, but I kept my jerk-colored glasses on and didn’t permit any depth of character. As the movie progressed, I began to feel some sympathy for him, don’t get me wrong, he was still a jerk who did a jerky thing, but I believed his devotion to Anna more in the film than I allowed myself to believe in the book. Maybe his crooked baby blues just worked their magic on me, after all, it wasn’t in 3-D, so I didn’t wear any special lenses to view him this time around.
Dog Bites, Bee Stings, and General Bad Feelings:
1. Dolly has a small role, and in her final scene she says something along the lines of, “I would have liked to do what you have done, Anna, but no one asked me.” Boo. Hiss. I want the real Dolly Oblonsky back.
2. In the end Levin tells Kitty he has discovered something, but they don’t even begin to let the watcher understand what it is. If you’ve read the book, you’re fine. If you have not, then it will be impossible for you to see the full contrast between the Anna and Levin storylines.
3. There was just not enough agricultural and economic theory and debate. Not enough of the travels to the health spas and Italian villas. Not enough about Russian politics and the war on the Serbs.
Um, do people still use that phrase, or did I just flash us all back to the 1990’s? I’m sorry, you see, I’m pretty easily pleased at the movies, I just like to be entertained, but I’m sure I can think of a third thing that I didn’t like. Oh! I’ve got it – Karenin’s little “going to bed” box. Yuck. Ick. Blech.