Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina

5.0 1
Director: David Blair

Cast: David Blair, Helen McCrory, Kevin McKidd, Stephen Dillane

     
 

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In 1978, America's PBS made the wise decision of running the ten-part 1977 British adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's tragic novel Anna Karenina. Twenty-two years later, the Boston-based public TV station WGBH entered into another felicitous partnership with the BBC, and the result was a shorter (four-part), but no less vivid adaptation of the oft-filmed Tolstoy work.See more details below

Overview

In 1978, America's PBS made the wise decision of running the ten-part 1977 British adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's tragic novel Anna Karenina. Twenty-two years later, the Boston-based public TV station WGBH entered into another felicitous partnership with the BBC, and the result was a shorter (four-part), but no less vivid adaptation of the oft-filmed Tolstoy work. Naturally, the main emphasis was on the triangular relationship between the titular Anna (Helen McCrory), her influential older husband, Karenin (Stephen Dillane), and the handsome, but faithless Count Vronsky (Kevin McKidd), culminating in disgrace, ostracization, and finally death for the hapless heroine. This time, however, scriptwriter (Allan Cubitt) also gave plenty of air space to the fascinating subplots involving the characters of Levin (Douglas Henshall), Kitty (Paloma Baeza), Oblonsky (Mark Strong), and Dolly (Amanda Root). Filmed largely on-location in Poland (with several prominent Polish actors in the supporting cast), Anna Karenina made its British television bow on May 9, 2000.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
In this 2000 TV production, British actress Helen McCrory portrays Anna Karenina as Tolstoy wrote her: a woman tormented by passion, guilt, jealousy, and social degradation. When scandal isolates Anna from her son and her disapproving acquaintances, McCrory writes the tale of Anna's woes in the dark circles under her eyes and in the volatility of her temperament. Eventually,McCrory's Anna shows the viewer hell on earth, relieved only by her fleeting moments of ecstasy in the arms of her lover, Count Vronsky, portrayed by Kevin McKidd. There appears to be a discordance between the two actors, a lack of chemistry that prompted some reviewers to criticize their performances. But perhaps that discordance is precisely what Tolstoy intended for Anna. After all, nothing is ever quite right for her; she reaches for roses and touches the thorns. Because the film is long (four hours), director David Blair has the time to develop the important parallel love affair and marriage between Kitty Paloma Baeza, who is pure of heart and innocently pretty, and Constantine Levin Douglas Henshall, who is shy and introspectively handsome. Levin, who represents Tolstoy and his views, undergoes a religious crisis -- doubting the existence of God -- but resolves it, finding peace and happiness with his wife in the country, away from the corruption of the city. Director Blair also gives due attention to other motifs in the novel: the hypocrisy of the aristocrats who condemn Anna for improprieties in which they indulge in secret; the corrupting influence of Western ideas that arrive symbolically as steam locomotives; the redemptive power of the faith which Levin and Kitty pledge toward each other. Although set in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Anna Karenina was filmed in Poland. However, in this film, Poland makes a convincing Russia -- thanks, in part, to the period Russian costumes, the Orthodox icons, and the tolling bells. Overall, this 2000 adaptation of Anna Karenina is a worthy production with enough good acting to hold the interest of viewers who have read the novel and know Anna's fate.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/09/2004
UPC:
0783421331792
Original Release:
2001
Rating:
NR
Source:
Wgbh / Pbs
Time:
4:00:00
Sales rank:
40,880

Special Features

Closed Caption; Access to the Masterpiece Theatre web site; Scene selection; Closed captions; Described video for the visually impaired

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Helen McCrory Anna Karenina
Kevin McKidd Count Vronsky
Stephen Dillane Alexei Karenin

Technical Credits
David Blair Director
Matthew Bird Producer
Allan Cubitt Adaptation,Executive Producer
Mark Day Editor
Teresa Dworzecka Producer
Rebecca Eaton Executive Producer
George Faber Executive Producer
Susan Harris Executive Producer
Rob Harris Production Designer
Richard Jones Producer
John Keane Score Composer
Ryszard Lenczewski Cinematographer
Frances Parker Editor
Charles Pattinson Executive Producer
Helena Pope Co-producer
Leo Tolstoy Source Author

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc One
1. Introduction [3:02]
2. Journey to Moscow [15:28]
3. The Ball [16:08]
4. Anna Goes Home [10:31]
5. Fortunes Told [12:43]
6. Talk in St. Petersburg [24:09]
7. Anna's Confessions [7:24]
8. Anna's Premonition [16:48]
9. Anna Asks Forgiveness [10:22]
Side #2 -- Disc Two
1. Introduction [2:26]
2. Over the Worst [11:17]
3. Karenin Decides [12:56]
4. Happiness [9:57]
5. To Be of Use [6:37]
6. Return to St. Petersburg [13:52]
7. Dolly's Visit [14:28]
8. Anna Waits [16:24]
9. It Doesn't Look Good [17:24]
10. Life Goes On [9:06]

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