Riveting take on Tolstoy

RUMOURS of this grand epic romance being confined to a stage production are completely false.  There is no confinement here.

Even though director Joe Wright has used stage conventions to present scenes in Moscow and St Petersberg, his stage is a dynamic place where walls open into ballrooms and bedrooms, where there is a sweeping energy, an exhilaration to this story of a woman lost for love.

Based in St Petersberg, Anna (Knightley) is the wife of government minister Karenin (Law), and they have a young son.  When her brother Oblonsky (Macfadyen) has an indiscreet affair with the governess of his children, Anna heads to Moscow to try to mend things between Oblonsky and his wife, Dolly (Macdonald).  

At the train station in Moscow she meets Count Vronsky (Taylor-Johnson), who is there awaiting his mother, who is on the same St Petersberg train. There is a frisson between the two.  

Vronsky had been expected to pay court