Fresh from his modern-day fairy-tale on crack, Hanna, director Joe Wright is now returning to the posh period pieces that made him famous (and earned him those Oscar noms), and he’s bringing along an old friend in the pouty-faced form of actress Keira Knightley.
There’s no denying that the duo have made some beautiful looking films together though. Both Atonement and Pride and Prejudice were visual feasts, and judging by this trailer it seems that their latest team effort, an adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s famed Anna Karenina, will be no different.
Adapted by acclaimed Oscar winning playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love), with the principle cast being rounded out by Jude Law and Aaron Johnson, this actually marks the 13th time that Tolstoy’s story has been brought to screen. You’d have to feel though that Triskaidekaphobia* be damned, with Wright’s sweeping visual aesthetic, Knightley’s apparent inbred affinity for corsets and Jude Law’s neverending ability to frown, that this is about as perfect a match between source material and filmmakers as can be.
Aaron Johnson is the wild card here, as despite his only other notable role also being a costumed spectacle, the green jumpsuit and billy clubs of Kick-Ass is far removed from this stiff-backed pageantry. But what from what I can see in the trailer, he acquits himself amicably though.
And while I haven’t read the book, I am aware of the details of the story, which leads me to my only point of concern with this trailer. It appears to be selling the escapist love story angle a bit too much as far as I can see, as Tolstoy’s original tale was more tragic than romantic. But that could just be as a result of the editing of the trailer, and not indicative of the finished product.
Either way though, you have to think that that with the cast and crew assembled here, and with Wright and Knightley’s two previous collaborations garnering a combine 11 Oscar nod, that this one is going to be very visible in the 2013 Awards season.
The story unfolds in its original late-19th-century Russia high-society setting and powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, from the passion between adulterers to the bond between a mother and her children. As Anna (Knightley) questions her happiness, change comes to her family, friends, and community.
*Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number thirteen. See, we can be educational. It’s not just all macho action movies and Twilight jokes around here.
Last Updated: June 21, 2012