Sadly, this newest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s classic ‘Anna Karenina’ does not even come close to capturing the spirit of the novel, especially in terms of fully conveying the passion and love between, and the ensuing tragedy of, the main characters. Therefore, I will try to review this film having solely in mind the director’s take on the novel, ignoring as much as possible the discrepancies between the novel and the film, otherwise it would be a never-ending task.
Regarding the plot, Joe Wright’s ‘Anna Karenina’ gives a somewhat accurate overview, covering almost all the main events in the book, though in a rush. We see the main heroine, Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley), a Russian socialite, who is married to Alexei Karenin (Jude Law), a high-ranking government minister, arrive from St. Petersburg to visit her brother ‘Stiva’ (Matthew Macfadyen) and his family, Oblonskys, in Moscow. Karenina’s brother ‘Stiva’ Oblonsky is married to ‘Dolly’ (Kelly Macdonald), who also has a younger sister, Kitty Shcherbatskaya (Alicia Vikander). In the process, Karenina, who also has a a child, falls in love with one of young cavalry officers and an initial suitor to Kitty, Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Parallel to this, we also see the story of Konstantin Levin (Domhnall Gleeson), a landowner and an old friend of ‘Stiva’, and his infatuation with Kitty.
Directed by Iranian-American director, Massy Tadjedin, ‘Last Night’ is a romantic drama revolving around a posh married couple, Joanna and Michael Reed (Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington), who live in New York. After years of marriage, Joanna and Michael start to experience relationship tensions, doubts and stings of jealousy. Over the course of two particular days, these tensions build-up at which point Joanna attends Michael’s work party and finds out about Michael’s interest in his attractive work colleague Laura (Eva Mendes). However, the following day, when Michael goes on a business trip with Laura, Joanna meets her old flame, Alex (Guillaume Canet), and jumps on a date with him. As the Reeds start to succumb to their ever-increasing love temptations, the question becomes: who will cross the line?
With “A Dangerous Method“, David Cronenberg (director) has the plan to immerse the audience into the world of a forbidden love affair and an intellectual discourse on the fascinating topic of human psychiatry. The film follows the complicated working relationship between two of the most prominent psychoanalysts of the 20th century, Professor Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Dr Jung (Michael Fassbender), as well as shows Dr Jung’s sophisticated affair with his “hysterical” Russian patient Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley). Although nearly all the actors in the movie give praise-worthy performances, the film is also emotionally empty, predictable and, ironically, generally uninteresting.