There’s something about this film that’s a perfect embodiment of love, suffering, redemption and
self-abnegation, of wrong choices, of regrets. Of resignation. What does it have to do with marketing and stoicism? There is no need to ask. There is only the need to watch, observe and feel. Ah hell, do I have to be consistent?
OK. Let’s all take a deep breath and think about this for a moment: As to the flaws in the film, yes, it’s a murky transfer and shame on them! Further, the “features” which modern DVDs lard their releases with are laughable … a little bio of Leigh, a cast list, no interviews, no nothing. So much for extras.
That leaves us with this film and its accouterments … writing, filming, editing, and acting. First, it’s a masterful reduction of the whole novel, minus the lengthy disquisitions on Christian apologetics which Tolstoy larded on the original, and the postscript after Anna’s death. Anna in all her trembling glory is here, together with Dolly, her sister in law (so contrasting, because Anna helped put Dolly’s marriage back together, only to see her own fall apart); and Kitty, who was saved from the indifference of Vronsky and later who recognized the constancy of Levin (another solid marriage, in contrast with Anna’s own).