Take No Notice

In a 12.27 “Top Ten Worst movies of 2012” piece, Rope of Silicon‘s Brad Brevet has called Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina a “dud.” No, it isn’t. It’s a brave and visionary film (in my view the bravest film of the year) that people with Brevet’s sensibility have, to their profound shame and discredit, tried to characterize as some kind of dud embarassment with a litany of flip, snarky comments.

There should be laws and prosecutions and penalties for this kind of thing, I swear to God.

Anna Karenina is in no way, shape or form a shortfaller. The shortfallers, trust me, are the critics. It’s a “serious, drop-your-socks knockout — the first truly breathtaking high-style film of the year, a non-musical successor to Moulin Rouge and a disciple of the great ’70s films of Ken Russell (and by that I mean pre-Mahler Russell, which means The Music Lovers and Women In Love) as well as Powell-Pressburger’s The Red Shoes,” as I wrote on 9.6.12.

  • Andrea


    I have just come from Django Unchained. It tops my list…for worst of the year. What a bloated over long ham fest.

    Thank you for being one of the few brave souls who came out against this. I’d be going crazy right now if I didn’t know anyone else thought it was a mess either in the wake of all the praise it’s getting.

  • immature

    I wouldn’t pay it too much attention. Have you ever heard one of their podcasts? These aren’t the most perceptive critics out there.

  • Tuan

    Brevet enjoyed Adam Sandler’s That’s My Boy and The Watch.

    So did I.

  • ghost of a ghost

    So does this poster or the SLP poster occupy the prime spot on the bedroom wall where you can see it through the window from the street?

  • lazarus

    Anna Karenina has its merits, an occasional dazzling and moving experience.

    But bravest of the year?

    Not moreso than Cloud Atlas, a film so brave Jeff couldn’t even watch the whole thing.

  • Jesse Crall

    I admired the hell out of Anna Karenina even if it held me at arm’s length a bit. Wright might be the best director alive when it comes to camera movement.

  • EricGilde

    Totally agree with Jesse.

    And honestly, I didn’t think that Cloud Atlas was so brave. It was cool in some ways, and had some interesting solutions to the challenges of adapting that novel. There are a few moments in it that will resonate with me for some time, but for the most part it was a wash.

    FURTHERMORE: I have to say, I am certainly a part of the “give Jeff shit” constituent on a fairly regular basis.

    But I sincerely applaud your sticking up for this one, Jeff. Anna Karenina is passionately crafted and tightly wound, with incredibly artistry and imagination bursting through every seam. There are times where it didn’t grab me by the throat in the way that I wanted it to, but the skill behind it is undeniable, and its originality is thrilling.

    Also, it’s like the anti-Hobbit. Seriously, if Joe Wright and Tom Stoppard can take one of the GREATEST EPIC NOVELS of all time and transfer it into a majestic film that’s just over two hours long, what excuse does Peter Jackson have? Not to mention its ability to create dazzling set pieces at every turn without having to result to some of the most ham-handed CGI ever.