Movie review: 'Anna Karenina'

Director Joe Wright imposed an unnecessary visual quirk on “Anna Karenina”: Almost all of the action takes place in a theater, with rigging, lights and scenery changes rather than real physical settings.
Oklahoman Published: November 30, 2012

In his debut film, 2005's adaptation of Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice,” Wright made the important decision to ignore all previous adaptations of the novel, finding the earthy essence of Elizabeth Bennet's Regency England by peeling away 70 years worth of costume dramas. Those instincts were put to even better use in his follow-up, “Atonement.” But with “Anna Karenina,” Wright's concern seems to have shifted away from finding the essential truth in his source material, and now he is succumbing to the brand of artifice audiences might expect from a frenetic, distracted Baz Luhrmann movie. Tolstoy's novel is one of the great morality tales about cheating and its consequences, but with their version of “Anna Karenina,” Wright and Stoppard commit a cinematic infidelity.

— George Lang