Anna is a young and elegant wife of Mr. Karenin, who is wealthy and old. She meets the handsome Count Vronsky. Anna and Vronsky fall in love with each other, and he comes to be with her in St. Petersburg. They are very happy together and make a great looking couple, but soon their happiness gets under social pressures. Anna is hopelessly begging Mr. Karenin for a divorce, but he wants to keep the mother of their child. She has another baby born from her lover Vronsky. Conflict between her untamed desires and painful reality causes her a depression and suicidal thoughts. Written by
Sean Bean was chosen by the director Bernard Rose to play Count Vronsky because Rose had seen him playing the role of Richard Sharpe in the Sharpe's series on British television - the director thought he looked natural in a period-military uniform See more »
During the movie, title cards inform the viewer that the story arch unfolds in the years 1880 to 1882 - yet at the end of the movie Vronsky leaves to fight in the Russo-Turkish war of 1877- 1878. See more »
I'm not sure how this movie slipped past me, as I try to stay on top of the period movies that come out. Nonetheless I caught it on one of the Encore channels last night, and I'm glad I did. Visually this movie is incredible! The cinematography could not have been much better, down to small details such as Levin "mowing" in the fields with the scythe in perfect rhythm with the workers.
As much as I like the film, however, I'm disappointed that Sophie Marceau's portrayal of Anna was not more passionate. On the whole I thought her performance was pretty good, but I agree with the comments above that she could have exhibited a much more involved and emotional presence in the face of a love that she could not resist. Ditto for Sean Bean, although he was somewhat better at it than Sophie. It's a situation where one fervently wishes that the actors were better than they were, because you know that it would have made the movie a "10." Both Bean and Marceau did provide some excellent glimpses into the souls of their characters, but only glimpses. One would wish for more intimate looks into their motivations and their respective desolations. I was not at all put off by accents of the actors. So Marceau has a mild French accent...French was the dominant language of the Russian court up to the Revolution, so it would not have been out of place at all.
The story of Levin and Kitty fares better, if only because of the stellar performance of Alfred Molina. Offhand I can't think of a more underrated actor (save perhaps Ron Perlman). Ms. Kirshner was fine as Kitty, although her journey from infatuation with Vronsky to love for Levin was given short shrift.
Overall I loved this movie, but I just wish it had been two marks better.
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