Synopsis by Mark Deming
Leo Tolstoy's classic novel is brought to the screen once again in what was the first American-based production of this story to be filmed on location in Russia. Anna (Sophie Marceau) is married to Alexei (James Fox), but while their relationship is not outwardly unhappy, it's clear that neither has much enthusiasm for either their spouse or their marriage. While visiting her bother Stiva (Danny Huston), who is having marital problems of his own, Anna meets Count Vronsky (Sean Bean). An immediate mutual attraction arises between them, and soon Vronsky has left behind his mistress Kitty (Mia Kirshner) to pursue Anna. Anna is initially uncertain about her feelings, but she soon throws caution to the wind and embarks on a passionate affair with Vronsky. However, Anna's love for the Count is strong enough that Alexei becomes keenly aware of her indiscretion, and when she discovers that she is carrying Vronsky's child, Alexei offers her two options -- she can leave Vronsky, resume her marriage, and keep the baby, or stay with Vronsky and give up her unborn child. This was at least the tenth feature-length production of Anna Karenina to reach the screen, though one of the best known appeared under a different title -- Love, starring Gretta Garbo.
aristocracy, courtship, death, extramarital-affair, husband, loneliness, love, love-triangle, marriage, romance, royalty, son, star-crossed-lovers, tragic-love