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Toronto Preview: New Images for 'Anna Karenina'; 'Les Miz' Won't Make Fall Fests

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood August 7, 2012 at 3:02PM

Working Title, Keira Knightley and Joe Wright have done well together so far with the period Oscar contenders "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement." But the director and star don't always do as well apart with more contemporary material--see Knightley's "London Boulevard" or "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" or Wright's "Hanna" or "The Soloist." We will see if Wright and Working Title's "Anna Karenina," adapted by Tom Stoppard from Leo Tolstoy's Russian classic, will help Knightley recover from recent reviews with a second Oscar nomination (after "Pride & Prejudice"). After all, what better role to play than Karenina, passionately in love with a dashing officer ("Kick-Ass" star Aaron Johnson) as her husband (Jude Law) battles for control and society looks on.
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Anna Karenina, set
kinopoisk

Working Title, Keira Knightley and Joe Wright have done well together so far with the period Oscar contenders "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement." But the director and star don't always do as well apart with more contemporary material--see Knightley's "London Boulevard" or "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" or Wright's "Hanna" or "The Soloist." We will see if Wright and Working Title's "Anna Karenina," adapted by Tom Stoppard from Leo Tolstoy's Russian classic, will help Knightley recover from recent reviews with a second Oscar nomination (after "Pride & Prejudice"). After all, what better role to play than Karenina, passionately in love with a dashing officer ("Kick-Ass" star Aaron Johnson) as her husband (Jude Law) battles for control and society looks on.

The trailer below gives a glimpse of Wright's Expressionist cinematic approach to dropping viewers inside Russian culture--using a stage proscenium framing device and swirling images that conjure up "The Russian Ark." Check out these new photos (via Kinopoisk).

The film's Oscar fate will be revealed when Focus Features unveils the movie this September at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film will open in some European countries in advance of its November 16 stateside release.

The costume epic boasts a strong UK cast: Matthew Macfadyen (Oblonsky), "Boardwalk Empire" star Kelly Macdonald (Dolly),  "The Ghostwriter" star Olivia Williams (Countess Vronskaya), "Breaking the Waves" star Emily Watson (Countess Lydia) and "Borgias" star Holliday Grainger (The Baroness). 

Universal is also gung ho on the period musical "Les Miserables," Tom Hooper's $60-million follow-up to "The King's Speech," starring Hugh Jackman (Valjean), Russell Crowe (Javert) and Anne Hathaway (Fantine) --none of whom charged their full freight--and would have liked to book it into festivals as well, but the picture just wrapped and will arrive dripping in theaters on December 14. I wouldn't be surprised if the studio pushed the film back a week.

Anna Karenina, set 2
kinopoisk

This article is related to: Anna Karenina, Joe Wright, Keira Knightley, Keira Knightley


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.