19 November 2012 4:08 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The decision not to shoot "Anna Karenina" on location in Russia liberated director Joe Wright. Without changing the Tom Stoppard adaptation of Tolstoy's classic--which threw out all sorts of things anyway--Wright used an old London theater as a way to completely free himself from the constrictions of period costume drama. "Anna Karenina" is a swirling, mad, exuberant, joyful, passionate celebration of the novel. Is Anna (Keira Knightley of Wright's "Atonement" and "Pride & Prejudice") your ordinary romantic heroine? Not by a long shot. She's doomed to meet that train. But there's more to this story than adultery. Tolstoy's counterpart, Levin (Domhall Gleeson), balances out the drama. And Jude Law gives one of his best performances as Anna's cuckolded husband. Anne Thompson: You were going to shoot naturalistically Tom Stoppard's script on location in Russia, but changed your mind. What happened? Joe »

- Anne Thompson

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