2. Anna Karenina (2012) – Directed by Joe Wright
The plot: Based on the all-time literary classic by Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina follows the story of a beautiful young woman struggling with love. Anna lives in the late 19th Century and is bound by the strict rules of the Russian high society. Together with her husband, she lives a respectable life – until Anna meets Count Vronksy. Their affair shocked a nation, but will they have a future together?
Why the adaptation works: The film has one of the most beautiful set production and costume design I have ever seen. Director Joe Wright placed Tolstoy’s classic tale into a new format, namely that of a theatre. This references to the theatre-like society that is the Russian aristocracy in that time period. All the characters, from Anna Karenina to Levin, are playing their part in the play. The streets of St. Petersburg are the backstage areas of the theater-house and the actual stage is the ever-changing set of Karenina’s mansion to the infamous train station.
Jacqueline Durran did the most exquisite job in costume designing. Every single gown and suit is a masterpiece, with amazing details and rich fabrics and patterns. The costumes fit the characters perfectly and they match with the amazing Chanel jewelry the actors got to wear for their role. Her hard work certainly paid off, because Durran won an Oscar for Best Achievement in Costume Design.