Photoplay magazine reviewed Love, "Anna Karenina? Not so's you could notice it. But John Gilbert and Greta Garbo melt the Russian snow with their love scenes. Will it be popular? Don't be silly." The present author understably has every need to impart John Bainbridge's quoting of Bengt Idestam Almquist in its near entirety, "Greta Garbo has never been better. In her first American pictures she was something different than this: a sensual body, thin and wriggling like an exotic liana, plus a couple of heavy eyelids that hinted all kins of picturesque lusts. But gradually Miss Garbo has worked her way towards becoming a real actress with depth and sincerity." Kenneth Macpherson of Close-Up magazine reviewed the performance of Greta Garbo in the film, "As this is the rottenest possible film, it is clear that its success is due to the beauty of Greta Garbo, who has a Belle Bennett part of mother love. In twenty years they will be trying vainly to give her those parts for which her youth and beauty now make her suited. As I say, the film is just tripe and Greta's clothes are an abomination...but for the fact of Greta's lovliness and her utter inabilbity to look like anything but an overgrown adolescent dressing up for the school play." That year, for the same magazine, H. D. begged to differ, writing, "Let's put Miss Garbo out of it entirely and say that Greta Garbo, under Pabst, was a Nordic ice-flower. Under preceeding and succeeding directors she was an over-grown hoyden or a buffet Guiness-please-miss. The performance of Greta Garbo in that subtle masterpiece Anna Karenina (Love) was inexplicably vulgar and incredibly dull. It was only by the greatest effort of will that one could visulaize in that lifeless and dough-like visage a trace of the glamour, the chizselled purity, the dazzling, almost unearthly beauty...Greta Garbo in The Joyless Street...remained an aristocrat. Greta Garbo as the wife of a Russian Court official and mistress of a man of the world, diademed and in sweeping robes in the palace of Karenin, waa a house-maide at a carnival."
That year Photoplay Magazine had included a Photoplay caption beneath a portrait of Greta Garbo That read, "Latest War Bulletin from the Firing Line: Greta starts peacefully to work on Anna Karenina. Some changes to the title Love, Greta goes home pleading illness. She says she's not temperamental." the next photo caption read, Greta Garbo does not think she bill go home. Greta positively enjoys her work in Love now that John Gilbert is definitely cast as her leading man. here is the first photograph of Greta Garbo as Anna Karenina and John as Vronsky."