Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Anna Karenina 2012

Somehow along the way in my crazy life, I just learned that Anna Karenina was made into a movie.  And it comes out mid-November.  Apparently, I live under a rock for most of my life.

Keira Knightley is the star (I am pretty sure I misspelled her name), and while that seems so cliche, I am so excited for it.  So excited that I am "quick" trying to reread the book (my copy is 853 pages) so I can remember what it is all about for the movie.  And then if they depart from the book I can be irritated and grumble and things of that nature.  (Remember Great Expectations with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke?  Yeah, the book totally didn't end that way.)  People, this book is way more than just the story about the Russian woman who threw herself under a train for love.  Although I did hear that the movie is actually a play of Anna Karenina, which should be an interesting thing to watch- a movie about a play about a book.  I have to admit hearing it that way gives me a few doubts, but it is my understanding that is has gotten rave reviews.

Look at that picture.  You just know it is going to be filled with beautiful images.  

I will be going to the movie by myself.  This is for several reasons.  One, Chris could care less about Russian books/movies, especially ones that are centered around an affair, and two, I want to be able to blithely look at all of the beautiful things, for lack of a better world, that will be portrayed in the movie given that it is about Russia's elite. People actually lived like that.  I cannot even imagine living in such elegance.  Especially when I scrape meals out of the rug and chase my kids around the house trying to prevent them from eating markers.  Where is my exotic nanny from a different country?  Oh yes, that's me when I use an accent.

Watch the trailer, it is amazing.

Basically, Russian writers like Tolstoy (who wrote this book), and Dostoevsky, coupled with the unbelievably fascinating Czarist history are why I became so interested in Russia in general, even taking Russian in college.  Man I wish I would have kept that up.  I have tried countless times to get Chris to take me to Russia.  Yeah, that's a no go.  Not like we have the money or anything, but theoretically....

In trying to cram this book in as short a time as possible, I am reminded at how completely astounded I am that a man was able to grasp so many views that women have during some highly emotional scenes.  It really amazes me that someone would be able to express things so eloquently and they aren't even of the same sex.

I challenge you to read it.  It will take a long time, and there is a lot of interesting philosophical debate that happens among characters in the book.  You can either be annoyed by it because it takes longer to get through the story or embrace it and think about what they are saying.  That seems to be something that most Russian writers that I am familiar with do- expound upon moral questions for their characters.  I am talking pages and pages of moral reasoning.  You don't see that anymore in novels.  Especially modern ones. 

Assuming the movie doesn't come out in limited release, and I imagine there is a good chance of that happening, because how many people do you know that would go to a movie like that?  I will be lining up for opening weekend.  Even if it means driving far away to see it at a more "cultured" theater.  My little podunk town probably won't be carrying it, seeing that I could probably count all of the people I know on one hand who would go!


  1. Hi Jess! I am also obsessed with Russian history/culture - particularly Czarist history. My main obsession is the Romanovs, and I collect every bit of reading material that I can on Nicholas and Alexandra in particular. I think you may be the very first person I've met who shares this interest!!!

  2. So glad to hear that I am not the only one! I also have read everything I can get about the Romanovs, and somehow, I never tire of them! Or any book, even if it is almost the same as one before. Haven't read anything in quite some time, so if you know of something new I would love to hear about it.