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Anna Karenina

3.0 out of 5 stars 980 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley, Academy Award nominee Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson dazzle in this stunning new vision of Leo Tolstoy's epic love story. At the twilight of an empire, Anna Karenina (Knightley), the beautiful high-ranking wife of one of imperial Russia's most esteemed men (Law), has it all. But when she meets the dashing cavalry officer Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson), there is a mutual spark of instant attraction that cannot be ignored. She's immediately swept up in a passionate affair that will shock a nation and change the lives of everyone around her. From acclaimed director Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) and Academy Award-winning writer Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love) comes this visually enchanting masterpiece hailed by critics as "ecstatic" (Time), "rapturous" (MSN Movies) and "a spectacle that has to be seen to be believed!" (The Huffington Post)

Amazon.com

By filming Leo Tolstoy's timeless novel as a series of theater pieces that play out across stages and catwalks, Joe Wright extracts Anna Karenina from the dusty pages of history. In her third collaboration with the filmmaker, Keira Knightley portrays the St. Petersburg aristocrat as a woman who loves her son, Sergei, more than her husband, Alexei Karenin (Jude Law). On a trip to Moscow, she meets Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), whose Snidely Whiplash mustache spells trouble, even as his sky-blue eyes prove impossible to resist. Wright contrasts their passionate union with the less cataclysmic concerns of Anna's sister-in-law, Dolly (Boardwalk Empire's Kelly Macdonald), whose capacity for forgiveness puts Alexei to shame, and Levin (Harry Potter's Domhnall Gleeson), who never gives up on Dolly's sister, Kitty (Alicia Vikander), even after she rejects him in hopes of a more glamorous future. When the affair between Anna and Vronsky becomes public, Tolstoy's antiheroine risks losing everything, but as readers know: she just can't help herself. Though Shakespeare in Love screenwriter Tom Stoppard ties together a colorful galaxy of characters who orbit around the photogenic central couple, the secondary performers provide the more deeply grounded performances, particularly Law and Gleeson. And for all the stylized, Douglas Sirk-inspired melodrama, Knightley's Pride & Prejudice costar, Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Dolly's wayward husband, lightens the mood whenever he utters one of his clever quips. If it isn't completely successful, Wright's reinvention is frequently quite dazzling--much like the genuine Chanel diamonds that illuminate Knightley's porcelain complexion. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Anna Karenina: An Epic Story About Love
  • Adapting Tolstoy
  • Keira as Anna
  • On Set with Director Joe Wright
  • Dressing Anna
  • Anna Karenina: Time-Lapse Photography
  • Feature Commentary with Director Joe Wright

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Kelly Macdonald, Matthew Macfadyen
    • Directors: Joe Wright
    • Writers: Tom Stoppard
    • Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster
    • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
    • Subtitles: French, Spanish
    • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      R
      Restricted
    • Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: February 19, 2013
    • Run Time: 130 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (980 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B008220C38
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,137 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Anna Karenina" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    I was so eager to get this movie that I ordered it before viewing it. Luckily I was able to stop the order after seeing it On Demand. What a horrific representation of Tolstoy's masterpiece. Be ready for a bizarre ride. Not only does the director try far too hard to approach it in a unique and original fashion (stages, sets, slow or frozen actors, behind the stage scenes, etc.) they completely destroy the story. Anyone going into this without having read the book will have no idea what is going on and instead of feeling compassion for Anna one only feels contempt and very little sorrow in her last act, as she is more like Madame Bovary than Tolstoy's tragic heroine.

    Important things missing...here are just a few!
    Anna being married to someone far older than her. An arranged marriage, not a love one.
    Anna trying desperately NOT to get involved or compromise herself, hence the heroine. Kiera Knightley's version makes her very little less than a common prostitute rather than fateful star-crossed lovers.
    Kitty being ill, kitty being heartbroken, Kitty rising above her station, lowering herself because of love and compassion.
    Levin trying to figure out the meaning of life. Levin's brother being washed not because he was sick, but because he was dying and his body was being prepared before the priest came to give last rites.
    Sad abandonment of any "Beautiful Corners" where Icons are placed for prayers in each household.
    No scenes of marriages in the Orthodox Church and who will raise their candle the highest.
    No explanation of why Anna is taking morphine and why it gets out of hand. Not enough of her unbearable grief being parted from her son. BTW...does she even care about her daughter??
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    Format: DVD Verified Purchase
    There have been many cinematic versions of Leo Tolstoy's epic novel ANNA KARENINA but for this viewer none matches the creative excellence and power of this very different version. Tom Stoppard wrote the screenplay for this adaptation and the work was directed with eye toward timeless artistry by Joe Wright. There will be some detractors who feel that cinema is cinema and stage plays are stage plays, but Wright's decision to combine the two works extraordinarily well. The flavor of Tolstoy's story and mood are maintained and yet made somehow more vital by Wright's electing to place this story as though it were happening on a theater stage (including catwalks, backstage, audience and theater boxes etc.) The story is theatrical and Wright embellishes the last of the Czarist days with great aplomb.

    The story needs no summary: Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley more beautiful to behold and brilliant in acting than ever) is married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law in a tour de force acting role) and is happy in her station with her slightly cool husband but very warm young son. Then quite unexpectedly her eyes meet those of the wealthy Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson in a career making turn) and their love is immediate. The flirtation is enhanced by some of the most beautiful waltzing choreography on film. We are in St. Petersburg, Russia and divorce is something only a man /husband can initiate so as the love affair reaches a point of no return Anna must decide whether to bear the shame of a divorced woman or just be the mistress of the incredibly handsome Count and remain married. In contrast to the Anna/Vronsky duet is the passion of the country lad Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) for the aristocratic Kitty (Alicia Vikander) and throughout the story the two forms of love are paralleled.
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    9 Comments 169 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    It is very unfortunate that the key takeaway for every screenplay of Anna Karenina is this subplot of Anna's suicide. If you haven't read the book, please understand the irony: one of the main reasons Anna Karenina (the book) is so treasured is because of Levin, not just Anna. Levin is Tolstoy's autobiographical attempt to express his own views and find his place and purpose in life. Time magazine, William Faulkner and many others declared Anna Karenina the "greatest novel ever written" partly because it is so fascinating to read through Tolstoy's inner battle. He works to reconcile his atheism with his religious background, his political and philosophical beliefs with his newly found roles of being a husband and a father. The book is Tolstoy's journey to find one's inner balance. It is as much about self acceptance as it is about those who failed to find piece.

    I keep rereading Anna Karenina mainly because the overwhelming sense of fulfillment at the end is so addictive. I never thought to consider this plot a tragedy until watching it on screen. Don't fall into the melodramatic trap of the onscreen soap opera. Pick up the book and enjoy an incredible study of human happiness.
    8 Comments 72 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: DVD
    This is the fourth time that Leo Tolstoy's 1877 book Anna Karenina gets the big-screen treatment, this time from director Joe Wright, who has impeccable credentials doing historical literary treatments (his earlier movies include the excellent 2005 Pride and Prejudice and 2007 Atonement films).

    "Anna Karenina" (2012 release; 130 min.) brings the story of Anna Karenina (played by Keira Knightley), who is married to Russian 'saint' Alexei Karenin (played by Jude Law), in upper class 19th century Russia. Yet Anna is bored out of her mind, and she catched the fancy of Count Vronsky (played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and soon they embark on an ill-fated affair.

    Several comments: the movie is eye-candy from start to finish. For reasons not clear, the movie cuts back and forth between real-life scenes and a theatre, where some of the scenes are played out. While it allows for some nice and clever shots, it is never made clear why this is happening this way, other than I suppose for production value. The acting performances are great throughout, none more so that Knightley who carries the movie on her shoulders as much as she can. Alicia Vikander as Kitty also was noteworthy (I also saw her in another historical drama, Denmark's excellent "A Royal Affair", earlier this year--that movie is now playing in selected screens in the US). Yet despite all that, as I was watching this, I never fully connected emotionally and I never got pulled in, a big flaw in any movie I watch. I want to root for a character, or against one, or at least care emotionally. It didn't happen for me in this movie. Last but not least, the art-house theatre I saw this movie in this past weekend here in Cincinnati, was absolutely packed, I mean completely sold out.
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