Thursday, September 23, 2010

Anna Karenina (1935)

Oh! Fredric March! How you do make my heart beat faster! Despite wanting to take a break from period films, March ceded to Garbo as she wanted him as her Vronksy (naturally). Accordingly, March played his part perfectly and Garbo was wonderful as well. Having read this 8000 page book, I was happy to see that the film concentrated only on Karenina and Vronsky and got the essence of their struggle even though it did not record everything that happened between them. Karenin, played stoicly by Basil Rathbone, elicits little sympathy and comes off more evil than forgiving.

Though Anna Karenina or more accurately Greta Garbo, puts Fredric March on the backburner so to speak, he does have a few shining moments in the film. The opening scene as he and his military peers get drunk is comical and his anguish and eventual impatience with Anna's behavior is poignant and enriched with realistic sadness. The real star of the film is Garbo but as usual, March holds his own well.

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