Anna Karenina Trailer: Keira Knightley is Back, But Jude Law Forgot His Hair
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Anna Karenina Trailer: Keira Knightley is Back, But Jude Law Forgot His Hair

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | June 21, 2012 | Comments ()


I studied a lot of Russian literature in college because, honestly, if you're going to read the classics, you can't do much better than Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Nabokov: Lots of sex, lots of adultery, fantastic evil characters, and the books make great weapons if you're ever approached in dark alleys. Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was one of those bigs that absolutely ate me alive. It's one thing to read it for enjoyment, but to study it? It will kick your ass.

It's also too epic, too massive in scope, too thematically dense, and too depressing to make for a very good film, but that hasn't stopped 10 filmmakers from trying before Joe Wright decided to take a stab at it with Keira Knightley and Jude Law. She looks ravishing, and he looks like a Russian aristocrat. Matthew Macfadyen, Michelle Dockery, Emily Watson, Olivia Williams, and Ruth Wilson ("LUTHER"!) also star. If anyone call pull it off, Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and Hanna) may be the guy, but I don't see it happening.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • mslewis

    So pretty. I love pretty movies. I love all the fur and velvet and the pretty dresses and handsome men in uniform. And those lovely hats with the face netting. Love! Can't wait to see this thing. Yes it's true, Keira can't act but she does the "lady in illicit love" look really well. (See: The Duchess) The clothes and scenery makes up for what she lacks.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    Gawd, Keira Knightly is so fat. How does she carry all that around?

  • Mrs. Julien

    Mostly as I gaze longingly at the Pajiba comment section, impotent to share my hoard of words, it's bearable. A dull throb. A bruise that you poke to make sure it is still there. This was not one of those times. My powerlessness was a living, writhing thing, thrashing with bustles and Macfadyens and gorgeous cinematography."Comment on me!", it cried. Look at all the pretty! Look at Jude Law's honest hair! See how the fur on her hat stirs in the biting winter air. Thus my Pajiba wound is rent and bleeding again. How am I to staunch the flow? Will it never stop?

  • thenchonto

    Good godtopus do I need to reread this! I tackled it back in the eighth grade, mostly because my sixth grade English teacher walked by as I was mulling it over in the school library and remarked "you know, I was never able to finish that one". I loathed that woman and took her comment as a direct challenge. In the end, I read this and nothing else for an entire quarter. I used up all my allotted renewals and had to occasionally wait a day before re-checking the book out. I'd spend that day anxiously hovering around the stacks, as if anyone else in my middle school could possibly be waiting in the wings to swoop in and lose themselves in turn-of-the-century Russian politics.

    Mostly, I remember being wholly absorbed in the trials and tribulations of Kitty and Levin. I loved them so much more than all prior literary couples who had ever inhabited my imagination because their marriage felt honest and real - a mirror to all the long-term adult relationships around me with their petty trials and odd complexities. It wasn't a soap opera or Greek tragedy. It was genuine love and genuine life. Anna's storyline is but a blip on the radar of my recollection.

    Shortly after I finished the book, Masterpiece Theatre aired a version of the story and I got so ridiculously excited to see how well it matched up with what I envisioned. And... their Levin looked kind of like Dom DeLouise. I lost a little bit of my literary innocence that day. It was my first real introduction to the movie never living up to or at all encompassing the original novel. I am, therefore, far more wary of a film version of this than of anything else. I highly approve of the look and feel of the trailer, but I'm going to stay in scared puffer fish mode until one of my friends emerges from the theater not bleeding from the ears or mumbling to herself about missing plot elements.

  • Irina

    I haven't read the book in a few years and I've always been more of a Dostoevsky girl, but my impressions were these: first, Anna is a strong and passionate woman who has been repressed her whole life by the rules of the society, the general idea of what a woman can be, specifically a wife and mother and not much else. She falls in love at first sight and little by little gives up everything so she can be with Vronsky, to try and be happy and live the life she dreams of. I don't hate Knightley but she really doesn't have the gravitas for this, she looks so fragile I really don't buy her as Anna.
    Second, Karenin always seemed a little bitch to me, all "you follow the rules young lady or else!" But Jude Law sells him as a product of his time, he actually believes that she is damned by God and society and acts accordingly, while still being concerned and affectionate towards her.
    Finally Vronsky, convinced he is the hero of his life, he wants to be the dashing knight sweeping in and saving the beautiful woman from a loveless marriage, but doesn't really stop and think about consequences or really anything else besides his immediate satisfaction. I have no impression on Aaron Johnson from this trailer, except that he looks suitably handsome and suitably hollow.

  • films of russian novels never seem to capture any of what makes us keep reading them

  • If Jude Law has to get hair plugs then Keira Knightly has to get breast implants. Because it will improve their acting, right?

  • lowercase_ryan

    I love Kiera, glad she looks like she's putting on weight. Not much, but every little bit is a step in the right direction.

  • I'm afraid I'm going to have to see this one.

  • Anna von Beav

    I saw this in a pre-screening, somewhat unfinished, about a month or so ago. It was... It was too much. Had a grand idea, and then another ten grand ideas, and stuffed them all in. Tried to do too much, and was not able to do it cohesively or coherently. I'm very curious to see what the actual finished product looks like- whether it was changed at all. It certainly wasn't awful, and I loved a couple of the conceits, but it was just trying to do too many things at once.

  • ThirdShift

    I am de-lurking to say, God I hate Keira Knightley with a molten hot wrath made even hotter by the realization she's going to get cast in movies made to destroy the classics that I loved. Please look at 4 stills of her at Celebitchy, she has the exact same expression in all those frames. Big eyes, lower lips slightly jutting out in a slightly provocative disassemble to provide cover for an underbite of a King Charles Spaniel. Which, God help me, is no crime and object of ridicule, had The Underbite not taken this vacant stare into every single movie she's been in, and call it acting. When is Gary Oldman coming out on this? She, the Twilight twit, and slowly browning bananas have the same acting range, but I'd give the bananas the benefit of the doubt because brown bananas may on occasion surprise you. I do not get, will never get, why P&P was "critically acclaimed" and loved and petted by everyone when it should have been thrown in the corn barrel. She ruined the image of Lizzy for me, I was only able to survive Atonement because, [Terry Jones] "that's not got much underbite in
    it." This whole meme about The Underbite and her acting ability must stop. She's been in a few adaptations of classics, and can wear the shit out of a Georgian gown, but as much as peeps here have dumped on KStew and the chronic constipated frown lines of DiCaprio, I think she's getting a pass. And I'm MAD ABOUT IT!

    Why is Kelly Macdonald not Anna? In Boardwalk Empire, her turn from the meek beat up wife to mob mistress falls in a similar arc as Anna, who made (or was pushed into) the hard choices and then betrayed by the people she made those choices for? I have to read the book again, but I did not remember Anna as weak.

    I don't feel better for having vented at all. Anna and Emma are not Lizzy, and not characters to aspire to, but I still loved the works. Just shoot me when she gets cast as Emma.

  • Anne At Large

    Ooh I am going to now fantasize about repopulating this trailer with Kelly MacDonald in all of KK's scenes. That would be lovely. KK should have never been Lizzy Bennet to start with. Just because she is not a standard modern Hollywood beauty does not make her perfect for a period piece.

    I also would love to see Rachel Weisz here.

  • TheEmpress

    Nice de-lurk, sir (or ma'am)

    And I agree. Anna Karenina is one of my favorite books. Jude Law looks amazing, Aaron Johnson is killing it and even the guy they have playing Levin looks solid. If Keira Knightley ruins this for me, so help me...

  • Sarah

    It is just me or the trailer seems to have a Luhrmann-ish look?Wright should stop cast Keira as leading actress in his movies. She's good, but she never shine. Anna Karenina is one strong, mind-blowing character, Knightley is just not good/charismatic enough for the part.

  • Amanda Cotylo

    AND screenplay by Stoppard? YUM.

  • Samantha Klein

    No mention of Aaron Johnson? He's kind of important, and all. This does look quite lovely and shiny, and I'm not anti-Keira, but I'm not sold on her, either. Jude Law is, IMO, a consistently underrated actor, however, and he looks excellent here. Bad form to have Karenin out-act everyone else...

  • Kala

    This looks kind of great.

    Maybe it's the hair, but am I the only one who thinks that Knightly is just an odd role or two away from having Helena Bonham Carter's career?

  • F'mal DeHyde

    That's who I thought was in the header photo at first glance.

    This looks amazing but I'm kind of bummed out that Jude Law is now playing the unattractive middle-aged husband. Damn, I'm old.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    It actually looks kind of great. And yet it somehow makes me think of seeing Reds when I was in 7th (?) grade and falling asleep in the movie theater.

  • DamnYankees

    Whether the movie itself will work, who knows. But that's a beautiful trailer.

  • Frank Berrodin

    I don't know if it's just me or the inner Mel Gibson inside me, but I have a little problem with movies set in foreign countries that don't have the native languages spoken. It's a movie set in Russia, and they all have British accents. Gibson rant over..

    I give Jude Law about 6-8 months before he has a full friar look. He's got a classic horseshoe pattern going on right now.

  • lucky for me; i don't understand russian.

    i imagine in most countries, when they adapt a foreign novel or set a film in a foreign place, they still make the film in whatever the domestic language is that everyone understands. i know, crazy, eh?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    You want them all to speak English with Russian accents? Or actually speak Russian?

  • Ender

    Come on! Spanish with a Japanese accent subtitled in Urdu. People can just use google-translate if they want to follow along or buy a program.

  • My 2 cents: For FAULKSAKE doesn't the threshold, base bottom rung level have to be speak with -AT LEAST a Russian accent? I get that amerikans won't go see subtitles, blah blah,blah.... but no Russian accents for AK? give me a damn ice pick....

  • Sara_Tonin00

    No, I think that's silly. Is Julius Caesar supposed to be performed with Latin accents? Romeo & Juliet with Italian? Should Dangerous Liaisons have been filled with French accents?

    Russians don't speak Russian an accent - they speak Russian. Maybe people get annoyed that standard British is the go-to dialect for period films, but since it's a mostly British cast & director, and since people associate British accents with the aristocracy, it doesn't seem out of place for me.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    I suspect they 'enhanced' the appearance of his hair loss.

  • Kala

    One of my biggest rants is over the fact that any film set somewhere "exotic" the go-to accent is English. Story set in the Middle East? Pssh. No one wants to try to understand that. English accents for all!

    I will allow the pretty to lure me in, despite my complaints.

  • linny

    Gave me goose bumps. I'll definitely be catching this one. ate an earlier comment I made about wanting to re-read the book now.. Silly Disqus.

  • hapl0

    So how is this Russian again?

  • Ahhh, I spoke too soon. My apologies.

    Anyway, I think this looks stunning. Joe Wright certainly knows how to make a visually gorgeous movie. I hope he manages to capture the epic scope of the novel, and is able to communicate the cultural feel of the times while cutting down the time Tolstoy spent discussing Russian agriculture. However, I do have some issues with the casting of Keira Knightly as Anna. I have no problems with her acting abilities, especially in collaboration with Joe Wright, but Anna is supposed to be a bit more buxom and voluptuous.

    That being said, I will be there opening night. Weeping.

  • linny

    I just got goosebumps. It looks gorgeous. ...And now I have to pick up Anna again, dang it! I got about a third of the way through before I got too busy to soak it up properly, but what I read was awesome.

  • linny

    I guess it didn't eat my comment -- it just temporarily buried it!

  • JenVegas

    When I was younger I read a lot of Russian history because I found if fascinating. Russian literature, on the other hand, puts me to sleep. That being said, this looks lovely. Very Baz-y but without all of the pop-musical interludes.

  • linny

    I was thinking the same thing -- beautiful, but less... frenetic. Modern enough to connect to the audience without having a greatest hits of the 80's medley.

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