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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Anna



Picture:C†††† Sound:C-†††† Extras: D†††† Film:C



Anna (1987) is the product of Americaís obsession with youthful beauty and its discontent with fading beauty.Anna (Sally Kirkland) is a Czechoslovakian actress whose career peaked in her early 20s in Czechoslovakia, prior to her fleeing to America.Now, on the cusp of middle age, Anna faces her own mortality, her struggle to get a decent acting role, and her inability to have a relationship that lacks tumult.


Throw into the mixture Krystyna (Paulina Porizkova), a vibrant, bright-eyed aspiring actress, who has left Czechoslovakia to meet Anna, her screen idol, and to pursue her own dreams in America just as Anna has.Anna takes Krystyna into her home and under her wing.Krystynaís experience in America is quite different than Annaís.Success, for the most part, comes easily for Krystyna.The relationship between Anna and Krystyna is bittersweet.At first, they find solace in each other by sharing common ambition and common language.However, their relationship predictably shifts from symbiotic to hostile after Anna divulges too much of herself to Krystyna which, coupled with Krystynaís burgeoning carrier, forces Anna to deal with her personal and professional shortcomings.In Krystyna, Anna she sees what she might have been.Throughout this slow-paced film, Anna never misses a chance to steal a disdainful glance at herself in the mirror, thus emphasizing her frustration with herself.††††


The subject matter of the film is engaging.Unfortunately, the film is degraded by the 80s MTV-esque qualities throughout, i.e. an overpowering synthesized soundtrack and unnecessary repeated photography snapping throughout.Kirklandís performance is gut-wrenching.She deservedly was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Anna.However, as proven by the Carter Administration, the leading role requires strong supporting players for an overall successful performance.


The DVD, which was released some seventeen years after the film, lacks any extra material.The video quality of the DVD accomplishes little, if anything, beyond VHS quality due to the constraints of the available technology in 1987.†† The quality of the Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with Pro Logic surround sound, from the original Dolby analog A-type Stereo, is even less impressive.This is the epitome of the basic DVD and is only good if you really want to look at the film.Just donít expect much.



-†† Carla Johnson


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