Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

Joe Wright (2012)

12A Certificate


Our Score
After directing Keira Knightley in Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, Joe Wright casts her in this left-field adaptation of Tolstoy's epic novel. Knightley does a commendable job of softening the hard edges of the imprudent Russian ingénue married off at 18 to Jude Law's older statesman. She risks her position in 19th-century society and - more controversially - her relationship with their young son to indulge in an affair with the wilful Count Vronsky (a typically moody Aaron Taylor-Johnson). And yet she's upstaged by her director, who draws attention to himself with every frame. There were incongruous camera moves in Pride & Prejudice and flashes of surrealism in Atonement, but Wright lays it on thick here, turning this tragedy into a lavish musical - just without the song and dance numbers. Clearly, the artifice is a symbol for the hypocrisy of the upper classes, but it also trivialises the suffering of Karenina in her attempts to overcome it. The end result is a beautiful bore.


The wife of a government official travels to Moscow to save her brother's marriage. Her journey leads to an encounter with a married cavalry officer, with whom she is instantly smitten, and when he follows her home, a passionate affair develops that scandalises the town and drives her husband to desperate ends. Period drama based on Leo Tolstoy's novel, starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Cast & Crew

Anna Karenina Keira Knightley
Karenin Jude Law
Vronsky Aaron Johnson
Dolly Kelly Macdonald
Oblonsky Matthew Macfadyen
Levin Domhnall Gleeson
Princess Betsy Tverskoy Ruth Wilson
Kitty Alicia Vikander
Countess Vronsky Olivia Williams
Countess Lydia Ivanova Emily Watson
Princess Myagkaya Michelle Dockery
Baroness Holliday Grainger
Makhotin Bill Skarsgård
Princess Sorokina Cara Delevingne
Theodore Steve Evets
Opera House wife Shirley Henderson
Countess Nordston Alexandra Roach
Burisov Henry Lloyd-Hughes
Director Joe Wright
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: UniversalGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 7 Sep 2012