Thursday, September 20, 2012

More Anna Karenina Clips

Hello there! Haven't forgotten about you. In fact, I've actually written about four different drafts that just haven't been posted yet.

But this is important news to my American followers. My UK ones are probably rolling their eyes at my tardiness, seeing that the movie is already rolling through theaters across the Atlantic.

I just wanted to give you a little taste of what we'll be seeing in Anna Karenina and share the information I've gleaned from UK sites as to what we can expect. These aren't all the available clips, but they are perhaps the most revealing I would think.

Ok, so time for another round of Ari's random thoughts:

  • When I said "Oh no, they turned Anna Karenina into a musical" I wasn't exactly right, but I was getting extremely warm. The fact is that apparently the entire movie takes place within an opera house, serving as both a cost efficient way of avoiding replicating Russia and an overt symbol of the artificiality of Anna's world. 
  • ^^ With that said...hmmm. I'm not sure how it will play out at all. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. 
  • The more I see of sneak peaks and clips, the more I'm convinced of the certainty that Keira Knightley was miscast. It simply makes no sense. Not because she's not a good actor, but because she's just NOT Anna Karenina, and there's nothing she could do that could possibly better mold her to fit the part. Anna is such a hard character to play because she's dynamic to the highest degree. She enters the novel as the figurehead of all things elegant and composed and takes her exit as an incredibly weak and slightly neurotic character. I don't think that's necessarily a part made for Keira, who is better in the role of more sarcastic and witty characters. I could go on forever about the mistake, but you get my point. Oh, and she doesn't deliver good acting here. 
  • I'm beyond certain that Jude Law will be fabulous. He makes Karenin seem human, and it's intriguing to watch because few readers bother to wonder if the character has a heart or not. Karenin is supposed to be symbolic of everything Anna is longing to get away from, but in this movie he's seemingly made into a multifaceted character. His sense of possession over Anna isn't just because of the sake of appearances, but because he honestly seems to care about her moral wellbeing and the practical consequences of her ill-fated passion. It seems like he's trying to save her as best as he knows how. Now, I don't remember if that's what the character in the novel was trying to do (I haven't read it in a while), but if not, then it's a great artistic license taken. 
  • I've completely neglected to address Domhnall Gleeson, which is a serious mistake because he, along with Jude Law, seems to be a major bright spot. He's the perfect fit for Levin in so many ways. He's not the most entrancing hero in literature, and he's socially awkward and slightly arrogant at times, but underneath he's a true romantic. I expect an underrated performance from Gleeson, which will fit the character perfectly. Levin is a major character in the novel, and yet readers and filmmakers are often so quick to forget about him in the face of Anna's conflict. 
  • Aaron Johnson...Well, for now all I see is a pretty boy trying to act. It's lacking substance right now. He's rather doll-like. 
As usual, comments are appreciated. 


  1. Oh, I'm glad. I thought we were in for another bit of blog drought :P Not that I would hold it against you - life is so busy at the moment that I feel as if I've been steamrolled =|

    I heard about the opera house thing - it leads me to think that they might be cutting out Levin's scenes on the farm - they're my favorite and would love to see it on the big screen, but will just have to wait, I suppose.

    Way back when this was mentioned I thought Macfadyen was playing Levin - and I can see him there - but Domhnall Gleeson's part there was so spot on! He seems the perfect Levin in manner and awkwardness - but a little too small physically. (I know, I know, nitpicking).

    I have to disagree with you on a slight point - there are bits in the book where glimmers of real emotion can be seen in Karenin. I'm actually in the midst of at the moment so it's easier to remember I suppose. I'm looking forward to Law's portrayal, too! I cannot wait. I'd like to know what Wright's reasons are for casting Knightley...

  2. I don't really remember much of the novel. I would reread it before I see the movie, but the fact is that it's sooo long that I don't really have the time or inclination, especially since it was never one of my favorite books.

    I also read it for school, so I'm not sure I put my all into analyzing the characters. I was younger then, and I saw Vronsky as the romantic hero and Karenin as the stuffy husband purposely trying to make her life miserable. But the dinner table clip was great because when Jude says "thou shalt not covet they neighbors wife" (or something along those lines) he says it with such genuine emotion, as if he's aching at the thought that his wife has been taken from him. Even though he insists that it's degrading to fight another man over a lady's honor, his mannerisms and the emotion behind his voice makes it clear that he's thought about it quite a few times.

    I've seen quite a few Anna Karenina adaptions, and Gleeson reminds me of the man who played Levin in the most recent BBC version. The man who plays Levin (whose name I can't seem to remember) really defined the role for me personally, so I'm interested to see what Gleeson might do.