If you're a hopeless romantic, the recently released Anna Karenina, adapted from Leo Tolstoy's classic novel, may well be the perfect antidote.
Anna Karenina, you will recall, was the unforgettable heroine of Leo Tolstoy's sprawling novel, who gambled everything on love. Quite frankly, the cad wasn't worth her efforts, but what a story it makes!
In essence, the movie follows the story of Anna, who is trapped in a loveless marriage with a cold fish of a husband. The drama begins when she catches the eye of an army officer – the dashing Count Vronsky – as she disembarks from a train journey.
They meet again and, naturally, fall into a passionate affair, the gossip of which soon reaches the reddening ears of Anna's husband. Socially humiliated by his wife's indiscretions, he forbids Anna from seeing her lover. Of course, it doesn't end there, and what follows is an unforgettable tale of passion and betrayal.
This movie is highly theatrical and uses effects such as moving scenery and rising curtains to segue from scene to scene. It's unusual, but I think the device works well by evoking the sense that life is like a play, a drama unfolding.
The lush sets, luxurious costumes and musical-like choreography that accompany various scenes are an aesthetic delight, and convey the social mores and conventions of the upper middle-class Russian set in the mid-nineteenth century.
This British version of Anna Karenina stars Keira Knightly and Jude Law. Directed by Joe Wright and with a screenplay by Tom Stoppard, this one is for romantics and train lovers.
It was released on February 14 – just in time for Valentine's Day.