News: Russian Studies

Russian Students Take Field Trip to See Anna Karenina

What better way to end a semester studying the works of Leo Tolstoy than to go see the most recent Hollywood adaptation of his Anna Karenina?  On December 10th, Professor John Lyles took 8 students to Richmond for a screening of the Oscar-nominated film starring, among others, Keira Knightely and Jude Law.  And while many Russian critics have reacted negatively to the film, John and his students enjoyed it.  Here are some of the reactions from those who went:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA “I thought that the film did a very good job of adapting such a long book into a movie.  The way that they filmed it, as if the whole story took place on a stage, was a really clever way to manage abrupt changes in scene and character feelings.  The drama of the story was also especially poignant because of this theater-like style.  I would definitely recommend this movie!”

– Megan Fitzpatrick

“The interpretation Anna Karenina showed a sensitivity to the falseness of most interactions in the novel.”

– Emily Durbin

“I really enjoyed the styling of the film. I thought it was a nice visual interpretation of the underlying themes of Tolstoy’s novel.”

– Kait Armstrong

Anna Karenina captivates the eye in capturing Tolstoy’s voice, his resplendent comment on Russian society and love. Perhaps no movie could hope to breathe the genius of the original, and yet with seamless aesthetics and deliberation, the savor of the sauce in this adaptation leaves one full with joy and an aftertaste of charm. It is a thing of art, valiant and mellifluous.”

– Adam Jack

“I really liked the movie Anna Karenina.  It seemed to me that the director and the screenwriter must have both really loved the book because they seemed so dedicated to keeping the characters human, both tragic and charming, just like Tolstoy does.  I also thought it was visually very beautiful and the transitions between scenes added to the drama of the film.”

– Stephanie Lash