Wright and Tom Stoppard adapt one of Tolstoy's masterworks about the youngish wife (Keira Knightley) of a statesman (Jude Law) who commits adultery with handsome Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), is shunned and eventually commits suicide to escape the hell she brought upon herself. Had Wright cared more about the psychology of his central characters than he does about how well he can photograph his chandeliers this might have been more than the piffle it is - Knightley is clearly Acting (to little avail), Taylor-Johnson's appeal is superficial at best - and only Law's Karenin really makes any kind of emotional impact, as pain and hurt registers on his face when he discovers his beloved wife is untrue. If the goal was to empathize with the central character, it's altogether a failure: Knightley's lead comes across too often as a petulant nitwit. Leo T. weeps.
Director: Joe Wright
Year Released: 2012