Director Joe Wright’s adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s 1877 novel Anna Karenina is one of the most visually stunning and artistically bold films I’ve seen in quite some time. Wright places most of his plot within the confines of a dilapidated theatre and has his actors make use of the stage, stalls and behind the scenes areas when forming the sets of late Tsarist Saint Petersburg. Actors will walk from one part of the theatre to another with sets and costumes changing around them, all with the hustle and bustle of both a real theatre and lively city. It’s a stylistic decision which was probably met with scepticism by studio bosses and the like but works incredibly well to bring to life the characters which themselves are so wonderfully written by Tolstoy.
Anna Karenina (Keira Knightly) is married with a son to senior statesman and a man who is greatly admired and respected in society, Count Alexei Karenin (Jude Law). Their marriage is typical of the society in which they live in that it was not for love and he is much older than she is. On a trip to visit her brother Prince Stepan (Matthew Macfadyen) in
she attracts the attention of a young,
rich and handsome cavalry officer called Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).
After an infatuation the two fall madly in love but in a closely nit society in
which infidelity is ‘against the rules’, Anna must decide which is more
important? Her standing, child and image or true love. Moscow