Beautiful socialite Anna (Keira Knightley) travels from St Petersburg to Moscow to provide emotional support to her sister-in-law, who has just discovered an affair between her husband and the family governess.

En route, Anna meets Countess Vronskaya (Olivia Williams) and her son, dashing cavalry officer Count Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). At a ball, Anna shamelessly dances with Count Vronsky, sowing the seeds of her downfall.