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In Cinemas This Week

Anna Karenina




Released: 7th September 2012

Directed By: Joe Wright

Starring: Keira Knightley, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Jude Law

Certificate: 12A

Reviewed By: Ben Harris

Adapted from the 1877 novel of the same name, ‘Anna Karenina’, set in late-19th-century Russia, tells the story of a love affair between Karenina (Keira Knightley), a high-society aristocrat, and Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The affair may bring her happiness (romantically) but Karenina actions also carry consequences, changing the life she once knew.

‘Anna Karenina’ marks the third collaboration between Knightley and director Joe Wright, and this beautiful vision is their most ambitious yet. Set as a stage production, this retelling borders on manic at times but you soon become in awe of its lavish sets and classy costumes.

It’s a smart move from Wright; his imagination overpowers a far too familiar story, without such bold direction ‘Anna Karenina’ would have ended up your standard period piece.

Whilst the affair takes centre stage, secondary storylines of adultery and love come from the supporting cast. At certain points these become far more interesting and convincing, even though Keira Knightley’s Anna is an engaging watch.

Knightley continues to impress in dramatic roles but her love interest Aaron Taylor-Johnson is rather forgettable. It’s Jude Law who makes an impression alongside the charming additions of Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Macdonald and Matthew Macfadyen.

The complex production is a refreshing choice, it certainly succeeds in standing out, but it’s a pity the screenplay doesn’t have the same impact.

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