Anna KareninaApril 4, 1997
Anna (Marceau) is a wife and mother who has an affair with the handsome Count Vronsky (Bean). Based on the novel by Tolstoy.
Release Year: 1997
Rating: 6.1/10 (2,813 voted)
Stars: Sophie Marceau, Sean Bean, Alfred Molina
Anna is a young and elegant wife of Mr. Karenin, who is wealthy and old. She meets the handsome Count Vronsky. Anna and Vronsky fall in love with each other, and he comes to be with her in St. Petersburg. They are very happy together and make a great looking couple, but soon their happiness gets under social pressures. Anna is hopelessly begging Mr. Karenin for a divorce, but he wants to keep the mother of their child. She has another baby born from her lover Vronsky. Conflict between her untamed desires and painful reality causes her a depression and suicidal thoughts.
Writers: Leo Tolstoy, Bernard Rose
(as Pyotr Sholokhov)
In a world of power and privilege, one woman dared to obey her heart.
Warner Bros. |
Release Date: 4 April 1997
Filming Locations: Catherine Palace, St. Petersburg, Russia
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $75,268
(6 April 1997)
(1 June 1997)
Did You Know?
This was the first western production of "Anna Karenina" to be filmed in Russia (St. Petersburg).
Although the film claims to be set in the 1880s, the book must be set earlier than that because it was published in 1875.
What are you doing here?
You know that I have come to be where you are. I cannot help myself.
Terrific, just plain terrific
According to an earlier review, this movie is supposed to be "just plan
awful." The writer probably meant "plain" instead of "plan," and that
misspelling may be an indication of the quality of the review.
There is much to be said for the viewpoint that this film version of
Tolstoy's novel, starring Sophie Marceau, must certainly be one of the
greatest versions ever produced.
Tolstoy himself lived to see just the beginning of the era of the
motion picture and was said to have been fascinated by the
possibilities the new medium presented. If so, he would no doubt have
been quite astonished at the beauty and the extraordinary quality of
this rendition of his story about Anna Karenina. The production values
are among the highest there could possibly be. The costumes, the
cinematography, and the sets unlike earlier versions, the film was
shot on location in St. Petersburg and elsewhere in Russia are at
such a remarkable level that the action almost does appear to be really
taking place in the Czarist period at the end of the nineteenth
As for Sophie Marceau's mild French accent which the above-mentioned
reviewer found so irritating it is quite likely that many
upper-classes Russians of the period actually did speak with a French
accent. It was not Russian but French that was the dominant language
among the Russian nobility and aristocracy of the time for some,
French was in fact their native language, since many of them never
learned to speak Russian at all, except perhaps a few words and phrases
they could use to communicate with the servants.
What is perhaps most remarkable of all in this film is the utterly
believable way that the behavior of the of characters is presented.
Their motives are suggested with great subtlety, not in the somewhat
simplistic tones of the (nevertheless still magnificent) MGM version of
the film that starred Greta Garbo seventy years ago. Anna's husband is
not a monster, for example, in this new version, but a rather pathetic,
right-wing government bureaucrat with obsessively strict moral values.
Moreover, the portrayal of Anna's behavior throughout the film, and
especially in the final scenes, is a masterpiece of sympathetic
psychological insight and understanding.
This film is a for the time being, anyway neglected classic.