Friday, March 9, 2012

Anna Karenina

The wife of a cold and career driven Russian official is sent to mind the shaky marriage of her in-laws when she falls in love with a dashing military officer. As the affair becomes public, her jilted husband refuses her visitation of her son leading to the tragic end in Leo Tolstoy's often filmed tale. "Anna Karenina" is an excellent filmization of the Russian master's novel by underrated Hollywood director Clarence Brown. In the title role, Greta Garbo is luminous, basking in her beauty while providing a somber, nuanced performance. Frederic March is likewise excellent in a dialed down role as her lover, and Reginald Owen, as the scoundrel brother-in-law, and Basil Rathbone, as the callous husband are quite good as well.