2 February 2013 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Anna Karenina; Taken 2; Keyhole; Hotel Transylvania; Barbara

After a sojourn away from the somewhat staid literary adaptations (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) with which he made his name, Joe Wright returns to another classic text, clearly invigorated by the audience-pleasing lessons learned on the somewhat sentimental The Soloist and the full-on action-romp Hanna. For all its flaws, his adaptation of Anna Karenina (2012, Universal, 12) is a laudably full-throttle affair, packed with unembarrassed flourishes of Russellian visual invention, theatrical daring and even dance.

Using a proscenium arch device to circumvent the problems and/or expenses of location shooting, Wright's rendering of a well-worn but still thorny narrative boasts splendidly fluid cinematography by Seamus McGarvey, a swoony score from Dario Marianelli, and an especially fine turn from Jude Law as Anna's unloved husband. That the film itself should be perhaps more cerebrally impressive than emotionally engaging is partly a result of Anna's frosty »

- Mark Kermode

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