Vivien Leigh takes over the epic title role of Anna Karenina as one of her greatest performances. I greatly disliked the 2012 version of this film. As intricate as the cinematography was, I found it silly and distracting. While the costumes and music were very lush, the writing was dreadful. I had just finished reading the Tolstoy novel when I saw the film, which I’m sure destroyed any hope of liking it at all. For such a perfect cast, I was incredibly disappointed.
I’m pleased to find a version that I truly enjoy. Sure, it is Russian Scarlett O’Hara, but no one ever complained about that. Keira Knightley would have been great for the role if it weren’t for the writing, and Greta Garbo is too even keel. Vivien Leigh can be an absolute emotional wreck, but also has the lust and confidence necessary for the part.
I also buy this Vronsky much more than I did in the 2012 film. He was a complete twerp. Vronsky is supposed to seduce not only Anna, but the audience as well. I get the guy is supposed to have a mustache, but at least have a man attached to it.
If you love the novel, this is the one I suggest you watch. Four stars!