This adaptation is actually pretty close to the book which I have read (I'll wait for your impressed gasps to subside), but like all the best adaptations, this uses its new medium to transform it to complement the themes of the book and make it more accessible to modern audiences. Wright uses a stage with moving set pieces and painted backdrops to convey the attitudes and strictly enforced rules of behavior of the Russian aristocracy. Everything they do is watched and judged by their peers because if they disrupt the carefully choreographed steps, it affects them all. This device, which minimizes the amount of exposition necessary in the beginning, reaches a beautiful, intense climax in the dance between Anna and Vronsky which marks the beginning of their relationship. While there are still many of his trademarks as a director, Wright really takes a creative step forward with this film.A movie that might motivate me to finally read the book ... and a review from Double Exposure that motivates me to watch the movie in the first place, not being a fan of period drama.