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Watch: Impressive 6 Minute Clip From 'Anna Karenina' Starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law & Aaron Johnson

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by Kevin Jagernauth
July 23, 2012 12:57 PM
21 Comments
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The fall filmgoing season won't be lacking film's of ambition, from Paul Thomas Anderson's 65mm look at the formation of a cult in "The Master" to Baz Luhrmann's 3D take on "The Great Gatsby" to the fantastical razzle dazzle of Ang Lee's 3D "Life Of Pi." But also aiming squarely for your eyes and heart as well is Joe Wright's "Anna Karenina" and this generous six minute clip showcases a film that is swinging all the way to fences.

Preceeding the Film4 promo clip, director Joe Wright explains that the production utilized a rundown theater for the entirety of the shoot, with over 100 interconnected sets build for use in the film, and boy does he ever make the most of the it. This sequence moves with a fluidity we don't get all that often, running from a beautiful ballroom -- with a ceiling that opens to show a fireworks display, in a particularly great shot -- and ending in Anna's chambers, where she has a bracing conversation with Alexei. There is a sort of great theatricality and decadence both in performances and visually that you'll either roll with...or won't...but it really, really worked for this writer. It feels like one of the great costume dramas of yore, but with a interesting contemporary flavor and approach. And the performances from Keira Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Johnson are compelling, even as the tones shift throughout this clip.

Give it a spin below. "Anna Karenina" opens in the U.K. on September 7th and in the U.S. on November 9th. [ONTD]

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21 Comments

  • Oh dear | July 24, 2012 12:22 PMReply

    Who choreographed this?!!! It looks really awful. What a shame as the trailer looks stunning. Although anyone that has seen the Aaron-Taylor-Sam-Johnson-Taylor-Wood-Johnson-REM-dancing-idiot-monkey-video should have known that this boy cannot dance.

  • Danxe | July 25, 2012 4:42 AM

    Joe Wright used esteemed choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui

  • Guest | July 24, 2012 10:29 PM

    Yeah, he only just attended the Jackie Palmer Stage School in England for more than half his life where he studied dance, drama, tap, jazz, acrobatics and singing.

  • Barry Theatrical | July 24, 2012 8:01 AMReply

    This looks and feels like a bad perfume advert. You almost expect after the doors close at the end for a big Geurlain to dominate with some pretentious voice over.

    Staggeringly bad.

  • nothanks | July 24, 2012 5:05 AMReply

    Sorry Playlist, don't agree based on this clip... This looks awkward and overly theatrical (in fact, I'm sure this would be amazing to see literally on stage). I think everyone is being too harsh on Johnson as he was directed to act that way, but the overall sense of the performances and the film is pretentious and vague. However, it doesn't really matter how boring/overcooked this film will be, because as always everyone buys into Wright and Knightley regardless. I have always felt they are extremely overrated, especially the latter - every time I see her in a film I can always see her acting and trying to be a character (way too self-aware), instead of just being one. How they have come to be leaders of costume drama is beyond me.

  • Oogle monster | July 23, 2012 9:19 PMReply

    I think it looks fantastic. Joe Wright really shines with period pieces particularly Atonement which is one of my favorite film adaptions of the last decade. Knightley can already start picking out a gown for the Oscars and Jude Law better find a date! Now if only Baz would release 6 minutes of my most anticipated (after TDKR which is now sadly over *tears*)...

  • Guest | July 24, 2012 12:05 AM

    It looks great to me as well, I love what Joe Wright is doing with this film. Everyone involved looks great. Need to see the whole film to be sure, but based on what I see I know it's going to be a great surprise!

  • Nikki | July 23, 2012 7:34 PMReply

    Impressive? Only visually. It looks campy and the actors feel awkward and Aaron movments are weird. I agree with WELP Michelle and Jude worked. Keira and Aaron are making me cringe. I wanted a great version of Anna Karenina to come to the big screen and it looks like I'm going to be let down. Why Joe did you pick Keira and Aaron? Bad choices. Just bad.

  • Anne | July 24, 2012 12:13 AM

    Aaron's "movements" are entirely due to Joe Wright's direction. This is a theatrical film adaptation, something that has not been done before. If you watch the extra trailer here (link below), you will perhaps understand what the intent of this film is. I am totally looking forward to this film, and have total confidence in Aaron Johnson's ability (hell, he's been doing theater since the age of 6). Jude Law, in my honest opinion, looks monotone. Keira pulls her role off flawlessly. http://insidemovies.ew.com/2012/07/23/keira-knightley-as-anna-karenina/

  • Lucy | July 23, 2012 7:30 PMReply

    Oh no I was excited for this film because of the amazing trailer but this gave me second hand embarrassment why is Aaron floating around the room like that? it's cringeworthy and it doesn't seem like he has much chemistry with Keira, which is worrying. I still want to see it but damn I wish Michelle dockery was chosen as the lead. I'm not even sure what I just saw but it's very disappointing.

  • Anne | July 24, 2012 12:58 AM

    It's hard to tell from just this one clip, but this movie is a huge departure from what has been done in the past. Joe Wright had total incomparable direction on this, and if you watch the EW.com clip you'll see that others are also "floating" around. This is not due to "awful acting" but strictly due to a very unique directing style. Aaron and Keira are both wonderful actors. I love Jude Law too, however, I think his role in this film (based on what I saw) is very low-keyed, subdued and unexciting. Not due to his acting ability, but more based on the role he played. I've seen him act better in other films. Overall, great cast, great screenplay, and a very different approach to this film adaptation.

  • Oogle monster | July 23, 2012 9:20 PM

    Keira and James McAvoy had chemistry for ages... I think it's hard to top their performances in Atonement. I think Aaron is the wild card here. He was pretty awful in Savages too.

  • me | July 23, 2012 3:20 PMReply

    oh, come on! I'm not a fan of Keira but shes good. they all quite good here. exept Vronsky. hes horrible. and Russian aristocrat would never fall for this kid.

  • jesse | July 23, 2012 3:14 PMReply

    I think this will go the route of The Portrait of a Lady : too divisive for broad Academy recognition. If Kidman could not get a nom for Portrait, then I don't see Knightley pulling it off, even though she's been nominated before for a Wright film. This also feel too Luhrmanny and too camp for the Academy's liking. My bet for a nomination outside of costumes is on Jude Law : he's a double nominee, has earned great reviews recently on stage and he de-glams. Otherwise I don't see this being a major player.

  • IVAN | July 23, 2012 3:06 PMReply

    After seeing it, I believe Michelle Dockery should be Anna Karenina instead Keira Knightley -Count me an one of Keira's detractors, but sorry she looks awful-, not only she's amazing even with a brief part, her looks is more related to Anna Karenina's description from the book. But yes, only her and Jude Law are the only performances that worked. WFT with Aaron Johnson?!

  • bridge | July 28, 2012 6:22 PM

    I agree with Ivan wholeheartedly. When I saw Keira was Anna I thought it was some mistake - bring on Michelle Dockery - her voice and stance are breathtaking and scene dominating.

  • Welp | July 23, 2012 2:17 PMReply

    Keira Knightley and, especially, Aaron Taylor-Johnson were embarassingly bad and had nil chemistry. Casting those two and opposite each other was a big mistake. Jude Law and Michelle Dockery's brief part were the only performances that worked.

    I had almost been swayed by the excellent trailer that this would not be so bad. Glad they released these clips as I can now dial down my expecatations significantly. Looks like this is going to be a very pretty mess.

  • DDT | July 23, 2012 2:01 PMReply

    We all know you love Wright's vapid period eye-candy (eye candy for those whose chief aesthetic interest is rococo painting). If it weren't for Joe Wright, would Kiera Knightley get any work? Seriously. That would be a good subject for a Playlist feature...

  • Impressive? Really? | July 23, 2012 1:12 PMReply

    Knighley and Johnson are embarrassing

  • JOHN | July 23, 2012 1:09 PMReply

    can't wait for a high-quality version of the clip.

  • milo | July 23, 2012 1:04 PMReply

    Impressive? I see zero chemistry between Keira Knightley and Aaron Johnson.

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