Based on Leo Tolstoy’s classic Russian novel, Anna Karenina is Joe Wright’s 2012 film starring Keira Knightley. Despite its criticism for being too preoccupied with style rather than substance, the film won several impressive accolades, including a BAFTA and an Academy Award.
Anna Karenina is a married aristocrat (Jude Law plays her husband) and the mother of a young son when she begins an affair with Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Joy). The film opens with another affair, between Anna’s brother Oblonsky (Matthew Macfadyen, who was Knightley’s counterpart in Pride & Prejudice) and another woman. Because he’s a man, Oblonsky faces no consequences for his actions, while Anna’s entire life is ruined.
Wright uses stage design (literally; most scenes and transitions involve a physical theatre stage) to comment on the way that the world of this society is a stage. This, along with the Oscar-nominated music score, gives the film a whimsical and appropriately artsy quality. Here are fifteen of the film’s most captivating stills.