You may be surprised to find out that Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is a book that I have not read. And I don’t really have any plans to put it on my list of books to experience before I die. I’m sure that it’s great literature, but since I’m not required to dive into depressing Russian novels anymore (being free of my school years) I think I’ll pass. Well now that they’re making it into a movie, I suppose I won’t ever have to spend 800 pages crying over a tragic love story. I can just sit in a theater for 2 hours and get it over with faster.
The trailer doesn’t really look all that depressing for a tragedy (in fact, they call it ”an epic story of love”), but I’m sure that it doesn’t end well. Joe Wright is the director, and you might remember his name from Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. That probably means that it’s going to look absolutely beautiful, with rich costumes and sweeping landscapes. But this is no Pride and Prejudice, even though it has both Mr. Darcy (Matthew MacFadyen) and Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) in it. There are now two men trying to win leading lady Anna Karenina’s affections, and they’re both as rich as Mr. Darcy. The first is her husband Alexei Karenin -played by Jude Law in an attempt to make himself look ugly (which doesn’t work that well). Then there is Count Vronsky, played by Kick-Ass actor Aaron Johnson, who’s lovely moustache makes it easy to see why Anna falls so hard for him. The period piece is sure to feature a lot of high born Russians gasping at the scandalous affair. We can only hope that the movie is as enticing as the trailer makes it seem:
Now, to me that looks a little bit like Joe Wright’s two previous Keira Knightley movies (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement) smooshed together with a little Moulin Rouge thrown in for giggles. But some might not agree with me. Knightley, when talking to MTV News, said “the only similarity, I think, in the work is that they’re both based on novels… this one’s very different in that it’s much more theatrical. It’s not a naturalistic take on the piece.” I suppose she’s a little biased as an actor – they always want to make it seem like they don’t play the same role over and over again. But despite the familiar nature of the “tragic love story”, I will probably make some sort of effort to see this movie. It could come in handy to be able to talk about “Tolstoy” and “Russian literature” when I need to sound smart.
What do you guys think? Will you see Anna Karenina when it premieres Novemeber 9th or skip it?