falderal : a moving images blog
Anna Karenina ; 1935  ·  Posted by Tallulah

Director: Clarence Brown
Actors: Greta Garbo, Fredric March, Freddie Bartholomew, Maureen O’Sullivan
Country: U.S.A.

I have yet to read Tolstoy’s classic novel due to my fear of Tolstoy that was instilled in me as I was a child. Although I have enjoyed one of his novels, Anna Karenina always scared me despite it being one of my mother’s favourite books thus I decided that I’ll take the easy way out and watch the film to educate myself a bit and perhaps make me less intimidated by the book. It was an enjoyable film for the most part, but I didn’t find it to be anything special. I usually like Garbo when I watch her films, but I thought that her acting wasn’t as great as everyone says it is; I thought her voice inflections, tone, and pitch were odd at times and not right for the scene. I know that Garbo is known for saying more with her face than her lines, but even I wasn’t impressed and thought everything was not right. It’s a gorgeous film to watch but it just didn’t do it for me. None of the other actors were any better and I felt that everything was too overdone. This film was a big disappointment for me since I do adore (well, it’s more like love/hate, but while watching this, I did like her) Garbo and wanted to like this film. The only thing saving it would be Garbo’s beauty and Adrian’s lovely designs. Yes, I stooped down to the level of superficiality for this film.

Just like Grand Hotel, Garbo is presented in a dramatic fashion with a cloud of smoke and then the beautiful face emerges from it. Oh MGM, how overly dramatic you can be!!!

I would recommend this film for Garbo fans, Anna Karenina and Tolstoy enthusiasts, people interested in Clarence Brown’s works, and people interested in old costume films. Oh and Fredric March fans as well (ALTHOUGH I REALLY CAN’T SEE WHAT THE HUBBUB ABOUT HIM IS). I can’t find anything special about this film, but that doesn’t mean that it should be thrown in the “don’t watch it” bin.

IMDb Link: Anna Karenina
Where to buy: Amazon.com

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