Anna Karenina (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Anna Karenina (1997)

Anna Karenina (1997)

Anna Karenina



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

This lavish remake of Tolstoy's classic novel is the first American version to be filmed in Russia. Like its predecessors, it focuses more on the romantic and tragic aspects of the story and ignores the political and philosophical undertones of the original. The story is set in Imperialist Russia during the 1880s. Anna has married well and lives in aristocratic splendor with her husband and her son, but despite the ease of her life, Anna is lonely. When her brother in Moscow has marital problems, she goes there to mediate and encounters the handsome Count Vronsky, who was seeing the young and lovely Kitty. He dumps her in favor of Anna. After a persistent courtship, Anna succumbs to Vronsky and a passionate, star-crossed affair begins. When Karenin, her husband, finds out about the affair, he gives Anna an ultimatum, one that leads her to madness and ultimately, her death. While her relationship rapidly spirals downward, a parallel loves story, that between the jilted Kitty and Levin (who is said to represent Tolstoy) blossoms and thrives.more
Rating: PG-13 (For mature thematic elements and some sensuality/nudity.)
Genre: Drama, Special Interest
Directed By:
Written By: Leo Tolstoy, Bernard Rose, Mable Lawson McCrary
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 24, 2008
Warner Bros. Pictures


Sophie Marceau
as Anna Karenina
Sean Bean
as Count Vronsky
Alfred Molina
as Constantin Levin
James Fox
as Alexei Karenin
Phyllida Law
as Vronskaya
Anna Calder-Marshall
as Princess Shcherbatsk...
Valerie Braddell
as Ambassador's Wife
Anthony Calf
as Serpuhovskoy
Barbara Horne
as Miss Edwards
Stefan Gryff
as Korunsky
Justine Waddell
as Countess Nordston
Peter Sholohov
as Kapitonich
Lyudmila Kurepova
as Princess Sorokin
Gelena Ivleva
as Lizaveta
Sergei Parshin
as Doctor's Doorman
Valeri Kukhareshin
as Specialist Doctor
Igor Efimov
as Servant
Konstantin Lukashov
as Moscow Railway Worke...
Petr Shelokhonov
as Kapitonich
Ludmila Kurepova
as Princess Sorokin
Valery Kukhareshen
as Specialist Doctor
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News & Interviews for Anna Karenina

Critic Reviews for Anna Karenina

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (11)

Only die-hard romantics are likely not to come away disappointed.

Full Review… | February 21, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

When [Anna and Vronsky] first lay eyes on each other at the train station in St. Petersburg, the only steam between them comes from the engine.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Bloodless and shallow adaptation.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[Rose's] screenplay is a ragbag, nothing like a tragedy in which the nemesis is Time. And his casting!

January 1, 2000
The New Republic
Top Critic

A copy of the paperback book should cost about as much as a movie ticket, and will provide a more lasting and worthwhile investment.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

This sleek, Cliffs Notes version of a masterpiece is ... glossy and picture perfect on the surface and hollow at the core.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Anna Karenina

I can't tell you how faithful this opulent version of the classic tragedy is, but it was very highly regarded compared to other film versions according to reviews I read. What I can tell you should come as no surprise - squeezing 600 pages into two hours and change results in much collateral damage to the material. One peerless aspect of the production is the sense of time and place, filmed entirely in Moscow and Saint Petersburg which is where Tolstoy's story unfolds to the stirring swells of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky on the soundtrack. A very interesting choice involves the language. The actors in all the major roles speak English with their native accent, which is the way to go if you can't get the dialog in the original tongue. Nothing sounds phonier than actors speaking English with a Russian accent to try and convey that they are actually speaking Russian. But to add to the sense of immersion, director Bernard Rose hired many Russians for the minor roles and subtitled their speech. The lead actors even say a couple lines in Russian to add to the authenticity. Overall, I found these tactics unusual but very effective. Nevertheless, while I love Sophie Marceau and feel she has the capacity to successfully play Anna speaking her native tongue, something goes missing in her English interpretation. Obviously the producers felt confident in hiring her to star in this extravagantly expensive venture, which is a testament to the international appeal she showed in her role in Braveheart. There are certainly other problems in evidence - I didn't feel much sympathy towards Anna and the Duke Vronsky, never been a sucker for undying love at first sight, and I felt they rather deserved what they got, Anna's extreme fateful decision notwithstanding. Also the story of Alfred Molina's character Levin must have been important to the social commentary of the book, but his scenes seem completely independent to the events in the rest of this movie, and thus his usual quality performance is rendered inconsequential. On the whole this is a version worth watching for the unprecedented authenticity of the production which helps cover the gaps of emotional resonance.

Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

Simply brilliant!

Leo L

Super Reviewer

well actually, the movie was pretty stupid, but I figure I'll give it at least 3 stars for helping me get an above average grade on the quotes test.

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