Anna Karenina (they have previously collaborated on Pride & Prejudice, and Atonement).
For those who have never read the novel or seen any of the film adaptions thus far, I absolutely recommend this version. It was very accurate in terms of how the events in the novel unfold. Here is my synopsis...
Leo Tolstoy's classic novel tells the story of Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley), the wife of Alexei Karenin (Jude Law), a high society, decorated cavalry officer, who is twenty years her senior.
The story begins with Anna's married brother Stiva (Matthew Macfadyen) having an affair with his children governess, his wife Dolly, (Kelly Macdonald) discovers his affair and sends him away from their home as well as their children. Stiva enlists the help of Anna to speak with Dolly and reconsider her decision to be rid of Stiva. Anna makes her way to Moscow in the hope of reconciling the two.
Meanwhile, Stiva meets with his old friend Kostya Levin (Domhnall Gleeson), who is a wealthy, young, landowner who has ventured back to Moscow with the intention of asking Dolly's sister, Kitty, to be his wife. What he does not know is that Kitty is oblivious to his affections, and instead, completely obsessed with the young, handsome, bachelor, Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and believes that he will soon ask her to be his wife.
Anna arrives in Moscow and is immediately drawn to Vronsky, who is completely obsessed, from the moment he lays eyes on her. Anna visits with Dolly, and convinces her to take Stiva back, citing that he truly does love and respect her. A ball is held that night (it is expected that Vronsky will ask Kitty to be his wife), Anna attends with Stiva. The ball quickly turns into the stage for the flirtatious affair of Vronsky and Anna.
Kitty blindly refuses Levin, who, crushed by her refusal, returns to his estate, abandoning any hope of marriage. Kitty becomes enraged at the spectacle beautiful, married Anna, and her would-be suitor Vronsky are making, falls ill and ends up going abroad to a health spa for some time to recover and think over her actions.
Meanwhile, Anna and Vronsky begin a full on affair, after Anna's weak attempt at staying faithful to her husband, whom she now finds repulsive and boring. Anna admits the affair to her husband, after making a very public spectacle of her affection for Vronsky (a steeplechase event takes places, Vronsky falls off his horse, and Anna is unable to hide her distress after the accident). Alexei refuses to divorce Anna (as she wants) and tells her to discontinue the affair, and threatens to take their son away from her.
Anna is now pregnant with Vronsky's daughter, which is causing her weakness as she seems to be nearing death. Alexei softens, forgives Vronsky, assuming that Anna will no longer be with them. Vronsky makes a failed attempt at suicide. Anna regains her strength after the birth and decides she cannot live without Vronsky, becomes seriously desperate, leaving her son with Alexei, runs off and elopes with Vronsky in Europe.
Stiva acts as matchmaker to Levin and Kitty. Kitty comes to her senses, and accepts Levin's second marriage proposal after her finds himself even more in love with her after time has passed. They are married and move to Levin's estate to begin their married life. (This is the BEST part of the film, I almost cried.. these two are adorable.)
Anna's life slowly starts to deteriorate, as she us unable to make friends in Europe, they return to Russia, where Anna is completely shunned by those she once called her closest friends, as many women refuse to be seen in public with her or even speak to her. She is a disgrace to her husband and an embarrassment to herself. Anna becomes addicted to morphine (to help her sleep at night), and beings to resent Vronsky for going out without her (as she is no longer accepted in society, she keeps to their home/hotels/rooms). She jealous and irrational towards Vronsky, believing that his mother is trying to marry him off to a rich women.
Anna's life ends in a whirlwind suicide. A suicidal Vronsky leaves Russia for the Orthodox Serbian revolt. Alexei Karenin is left to raise both his and Anna's child, as well as Anna and Vronsky's child, whom he loves dearly.