In 1874, in the Imperial Russia, the aristocratic Anna Karenina travels from Saint Petersburg to Moscow to save the marriage of her brother Prince Oblonsky, who had had a love affair with his housemaid. Anna Karenina has a cold marriage with her husband, Count Alexei Karenin, and they have a son. Anna meets the cavalry officer Count Vronsky at the train station and they feel attracted by each other. Soon she learns that Vronsky will propose to Kitty, who is the younger sister of her sister-in-law Dolly. Anna satisfactorily resolves the infidelity case of her brother and Kitty invites her to stay for the ball. However, Anna Karenina and Vronsky dance in the ball, calling the attention of the conservative society. Soon they have a love affair that will lead Anna Karenina to a tragic fate.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
(at around 32 mins) While Anna is traveling on a train she was reading a book which was supposed to be in Russian. However, the word that appeared on the screen was in Hungarian "olajfestmény" meaning oil painting. See more »
If your prime reaction to a film is one of disappointment there are usually some good reasons. My principal response to this version of a great and well-known story is one of irritation. The overblown theatrical format of the film gets in the way of character and dramatic development, to the point where you're aware of a director proclaiming "aren't we clever with the way we're staging this?" instead of admiring the straightforward and competent telling of a story. I'm not saying all films have to be constructed in a conventional manner, but when the form overtakes the substance something has gone wrong.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky is a piece of serious miscasting. Instead of looking like a great lover and sure temptation for wavering Anna,he looks like some feeble dandy with his foppish shock of dyed curly blonde hair which makes him look quite ridiculous. How on earth Anna could fall for such a creepy-looking guy is beyond most viewers I would submit.
Keira Knightley does the best she can, despite looking most of the time like she's attending a fashion shoot. The character of Anna requires portrayal of a tragic life which she doesn't quite achieve. However, the whole film fails to convey the grandeur of Tolstoy's vision, so she's let off the hook by the film's general levity and lack of substance.
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