Anna Karenina – 2 stars

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Beautiful, sumptuous and deservedly nominated for production design, costume design, and cinematography Oscars, the film is also leaden and dull. There is no burning desire detectable in the icy, mannered Keira Knightley, and her illicit romance with the fey Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Nowhere Boy) is unconvincing. The lush production is soulless and a bit gimmicky, replete with a dance sequence that recalls Tony and Maria in West Side Story (minus the passion), and a distracting movie-within-a-play depiction. Very pretty and little else. Knightley is preeternaturally girlish. She cannot convey having lived long and rich enough to put it all on the line for an adulterous love, so she opts for Anna as bipolar.

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