I must agree with 'iliawarlock' on Samoylova's performance - but even though this is undoubtedly the weakest link, the film doesn't hold on many stronger points. Samoylova, who is best suited to play Soviet peasant or worker, is only the emanation of the overall psychological flatness, ignorance and self-content, characteristic of many destroyer-of-classic-texts communist era films. Plisetskaya is brilliant, and Lanovoy is also delightful. An interesting fact is that, before a screening which took place in Sofia, Bulgaria, the still magnificent Vasiliy Lanovoy commented that his character Vronsky was incapable of the great love which Karenina had the gift for. From his performance, I got quite the opposite impression of a highly sensitive and devoted Vronsky - but thats the greatness of a complex text. Too bad we cannot witness a complex (if any) psychological interaction with Karenina in this dramatization.
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