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Anna Karenina


Year: 2012 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Joe Wright 
Starring: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson  
An image from Anna Karenina

Set in 19th century fin-de-siècle Russia, this stunning adaptation of what is one of Tolstoy’s most famous novels follows the turbulent life of its eponymous character as she embarks in an affair with the aristocratic Count Alexei Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson).

The adulterous Anna Karenina (Knightley), bored and trapped in her loveless marriage to a statesman twenty years her senior, finds herself enchanted by the affluent and attractive Vronksy, who offers to marry her if she leaves her husband, Count Karenin (Law). Anna, however, feeling bound by the expectations of Russian high-society, is uncertain of defying social conventions, a doubt which marks the start of her catastrophic ruin. As Anna becomes further involved with sweet-talking Vronsky, she grows increasingly paranoid, possessive, and isolated.

British filmmaker Joe Wright, most famous for his work on Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, manages to breathe new life into this well-worn story, injecting it with a magnificent vividness while still maintaining the tragic undertones that saturate the novel from the outset.

Critics have particularly praised the ambitious visual experience of the well-crafted cinematography by Philippe Rousselot, who most recently has worked on the Guy Ritchie Sherlock Holmes films, as well as the subtle yet beautiful musical score composed by Oscar-winning Dario Marianelli, whose frequent work with Wright has brought him to prominence.

Anna Karenina is a film most certainly worth seeing, as an adaptation that is both original and yet remains true to Tolstoy’s original dream. Even maintaining this difficult balance, the audience can still expect to witness the breathtaking visual mastery that they have come to expect from Wright’s former sensational adaptations of classical literature.

Georgie Rawson

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Autumn Term (digital)
2012/2013 Autumn Term (digital)