Throughout the movie, any character who wears a wedding band is shown wearing it on their left hand. In the Slavic countries, such as Russia, Ukraine, and Poland, the wedding band is worn on the ring finger of the right hand. Wearing a wedding band on the left hand often indicates that the wearer is widowed. See more »
The priest reads the prayers in Latin. No Russian Orthodox prayer is ever read in Latin; for Russian Orthodox priests this would be blasphemy. The prayers could be read either in Russian or Slavic. See more »
Pinpoints The Plot In Great Detail, But With Somewhat Charmless Leads
If you're craving an adaptation of Tolstoy's psychological and social masterpiece, this version comes the closest to an overall assessment, simply because it has the time to cover the all-important story of the earthy Levin and his beloved Kitty; as in the book, Anna takes the focus purely because she is the embodiment of a scandal, living totally for her feelings, and living selfishly.
Having just finished the book, and then watched four different versions of the Russian epic, I do not doubt this version comes closest to the spirit of the book, even though Helen McCrory as Anna completely lacks the mesmerizing attraction of say, Garbo or Leigh--but both their films are Masterplot editions, and studio bound, although each have their own strengths--the MGM team to recreate lavish set pieces, and in the latter case, Vivien Leigh sparring with Sir Ralph Richardson, as a mannered, pompous, easily rattled husband.
In this 2000 Masterpiece Theatre version, David Henshall is a standout as Levin, drawing the viewer into the intensely introverted, thoughtful landowner, Tolstoy's cover for himself. When it comes down to it, the novel cannot be translated to the screen, even less so than War And Peace, but the director of this one did his best, even if his chosen leads are less than stellar.
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