Anna Karenina Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Anna Karenina

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    M: Mature themes, sex scenes and brief gore.

  • The pitch:

    Highly stylised adaptation of Tolstoy's great masterpiece about the tragedy of forbidden love.

  • Starring:

    Keira Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew MacFadyen, Emily Watson, Kelly Macdonald, Olivia Williams, Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Luke Newberry

  • Directed by:

    Joe Wright

  • Running time:

    129 minutes

  • Rated:

    M (Australia), 12A (UK), R (USA)


    Two people are killed beneath trains. Lots of arguing. A horse is injured badly and put to death. A woman commits suicide. Blood/gore: A body that has been cut in half is seen. Blood, guts and entrails are visible. The blood-splattered face of a second dead body is shown. A horse writhes and whinnies in terrible pain.


    Several sex scenes between a couple who are having an affair. No explicit images but lots of nude body-parts and passionate kissing. Bare bodies are seen during and after sex. Period gowns are low-cut and busty.


    Morphine for self-medication. Alcohol (wine, spirits). Smoking (tobacco and cigars).


    Religious proclamations, sl*t, name-calling and stereotypes.


    Infidelity, relationships, marriage, family, forbidden love, aristocracy, social order, rejection, desperation, tsarist Russia, gossip, deceit, loyalty, forgiveness, suicide, (dis)reputation, shame, social etiquette, social order/expectation, ostracism, damnation.


    Fireworks. Animal pelts are worn. Very cold wintry setting.


    Clever manipulation of set design. Costumes are superb. Performances by Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are especially good.


    Longer than a Russian winter. An abundance of creaking floorboards. Tolstoy's novel begins with one of the most memorable lines ever written: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", but this superb line didn't manage to sneak its way into the film. Lifeless. Not enough Russian actors.


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