Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is considered by many to be the greatest novel of all time. This puts a lot of pressure on Joe Wright, director of the latest attempt at an adaptation. Previous attempts have mostly been less than successful, either failing to capture the scope of the original work, or shortening it into a smaller and significantly less complex love story. The trailer for Wright’s version can be seen below.
It’s a fairly ridiculous trend in films that depict stories set at any time over a century ago to resort to giving everyone British accents. Anna Karenina is set in Russia, to move it anywhere else would muddle and destroy elements essential to the development of the plot and the characters. This fact has been respected, but the idea that Russians might in fact have had Russian accents has been ignored completely. However it’s possible this can be overlooked, considering the talented cast that has been out together. Wright has done great things with Keira Knightly (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice), Jude Law is rarely anything less than fantastic and Aaron Johnson has proven himself more than capable in the past.
A bigger problem is the sheer impossibility of translating the vast array of emotions each of the characters in Tolstoy’s novel feel over the course of the enormous plot. Most of these intense and complex feelings are not said aloud; in a book this isn’t a problem, but in a film, without the use of a narrator (which might cheapen the story), it provides a huge challenge for the actors and the director. A warning sign of how successfully the project has been tackled will be the running time, which should be nothing less than 3 hours.
Do you think it can be done well? Tell us the comments.