Anna Karenina movie poster. Where "all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players."

Shakespeare once wrote, "all the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players." I mention that because in the latest film version of Anna Karenina not only does it focus on the interaction of men and women but you will get the feeling that you are watching it play out on a grand stage. Some will find this whimsical and a nice touch while others may scoff at the light feel it tends to give this heavy drama.

Based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy with the screenplay by Tom Stoppard, this movie protrays the story of Anna (Keira Knightley) and her marriage to Karenin (Jude Law) in 19th century Russia. As members of high society the last thing they want is aristocratic scorn. So her affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has life changing consequences.

Other than the passionate story by Tolstoy the main thing this film has going for it is the beautiful cinematography and the direction of Joe Wright. Each scene captures not only the period but also allows the characters the room to breath and dance. As mentioned, this starts off looking like a stage production. Even the sets move and change like a live play. This may take many out of the moment but I felt as if it gave it a dance and fluidity that added to the splendor.

The acting is award worthy as well. Hats off to Law for his stoic portrayal of a man trying to save face during his wife's adultery. His loyalty to God and country is admirable. Sadly in this day and age of "anything goes" he may be perceived as overbearing and cold when in fact he only wants to save the reputation of his Anna.

Knightley is fantastic which comes as no surprise. She seems perfect for the role and has the ability to go from high class balls to her lovers arms with no stutter. Toward the end of the movie it is her neurotic moods that Keira so wonderfully pulls off.

Anna Karenina is rated R for some sexuality and violence. Honestly this is the tamest R rated film I have seen in some time. I understand that the overall themes of adultery and betrayal are adult in nature but the content is handled with class. To make it gratuitous or seedy would be to bring dishonor to the period, the characters, and the writing. I give it 3.5 out of 5 red sashes. Strong acting, interesting stage direction, and a dramatic telling make this one to check out.


{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}