Yawn. Another stuffy costume drama and adaptation of “Anna Karenina,” a story we’ve seen played out more than once on the big screen and small. Who cares, right? Wrong. While the latest from Joe Wright, which sees him reteam with his “Atonement” and “Pride & Prejudice” star Keira Knightley, might seem like an easy lay-up, in the director’s typical fashion, he’s raising the bar. As was recently revealed in an extended profile in Empire magazine, Wright choose to make the production nearly entirely on a single stage, in a take that has been described as experimental, taking place in an “elastic universe” that will include toy trains and dollhouses standing in for exterior locations.
Well, out of the pages of the same issue come our first looks at Keira Knightley as Anna, Aaron Johnson as the blond haired and mustachioed Count Vronsky and Jude Law as Alexei Karenin. While the costumes may look conventional (and by that we mean, beautiful), the approach is anything but. Earlier this month Knightley told us the film would be a “much more theatrical version” of the story we’ve seen before, and nope, you won’t be hearing any phony Russian accents, as the cast have all kept their native tongues.
The film is currently slated for a September 7th release in the U.K., and we’d wager a U.S. release will fall around the same time, and given that’s right in the Venice/Telluride/TIFF scrum, a festival appearance of some kind seems likely.