Friday, September 30, 2011

Anna Karenina 2012 cast

I am way behind the times. . . I've just had a glance at the Anna Karenina 2012 IMDb page (filming started this month, apparently). This movie has everyone in it! Seriously!

Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina. Not convinced about Keira as Anna at all. Anna is supposed to be beautiful, warm, maternal, very curvaceous, and quintessentially feminine. Keira. . . isn't. Well, she's beautiful, but as for the rest. . . I'm sorry, but this is a crucial part of who Anna is and what attracts Vronsky to her: her warmth, and motherliness, as well as her beauty and sophistication. Vronsky had a cold, unfeeling mother. To him, Anna represents the comfort, the security, and the kindness of the mother and family life that he was deprived of as a child. If Keira were to go up four dress sizes, then we'd be talking, but as it is, I just can't visualise Keira - who still looks like a skinny little slip of a girl - in this part!!

Jude Law as Karenin. Is it just me, or have all three of the most recent Karenins (James Fox, Stephen Dillane, and now Jude Law) been far more attractive than the role calls for? I can understand the reasoning behind this from a director's point of view: that is, not wanting to perpetuate the stereotype of Karenin as Anna's old, ugly, unsympathetic husband. But still - Jude Law? Still, at least he's not playing Vronsky (which I had assumed to be the case when I first heard that he was attached to this film). Jude Law as Karenin, on the hand, is an interesting and unprecedented casting decision, that's for sure!

Aaron Johnson as Vronsky. Yessss! *Fist pumps*. Tall, dark, handsome (probably a bit too pretty, to be honest) and confident, yet young and vulnerable.

Kelly MacDonald as Dolly - perfect.

Matthew MacFadyen as Oblonsky - awesome!!!! I can't wait to see Matthew playing another Felix Carbury-esque character. As you can see, he has already started growing a beard for the part. He looks scary, to be honest.

Olivia Williams as Vronsky's mum - W00t!! Sorry, I've just been typing my honest response to each casting decision. No false dignity here.

Ruth Wilson as Princess Betsy - perfect.

Domhnall Gleeson as Levin. Initial response - wh-wh-wh-WHAT? A ginger Levin?! Interesing. On second thoughts - this could be an inspired casting decision. Levin's character is partly based on Tolstoy himself, and Domhnall actually looks remarkably like a young Tolstoy (red hair notwithstanding). Also, if this lures in the Harry Potter fans, I'm all for it.

Alicia Vikander as Kitty. Hmmm. . .

And Michelle Dockery and Emily Watson are in the cast list too, though their roles have not yet been confirmed.

All in all, my excitement about this film has multiplied approximately 4 x. I remain unsure about Keira as Anna, but the rest of the cast appears to be more or less perfect, featuring a dynamic mix of established and up-and-coming actors. I'm looking forward to seeing what Joe Wright does with this adaptation. Fingers crossed the screenplay manages to do a tolerable job of cramming Tolstoy's tome into two hours or so of screen time. (!)

Your thoughts?


Amelia Colleen said...

I haven't read Anna Karenina, so I can't really offer an opinion on the choice of actors. :) I will, however, agree that Matthew Macfadyen looks scary with a beard. I didn't recognize him until I looked for a *third* time.
Why must all these filmmakers insist on cramming an 800+ page novel into 2 hours of screen time? That's impossible. Even if the novel isn't as long as Tolstoy or Dickens' works, 2 hours usually isn't enough to do justice to your average Victorian melodrama. That's one of the reasons I'm not interested in seeing the new Jane Eyre. Little Women (1994) had whole chunks cut out. (Why can't someone make a good version of Little Women????) A good long book is often good because it's so long---chopping it ruthlessly into a novelette doesn't do anything to help the story. Grrrr.
Okay, rant over. :) Sorry I took up so much space in your comment box--I didn't intend to write that much! Looking forward to more of your posts!

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Wow! What a cast list! Some of these actors I haven't seen in something new in a while. Should be interesting!

Rebekah Brielle said...

Your sister, Grace, directed me to your blog ;)
She said you really like Jane Austen, and I can tell you do!
I really like your blog, and I followed you already :)
Check out my blog, It's a Love Story!

Miss Dashwood said...

Elise, I'd just like to say that I LOVE your blog! I've read through the archives, and your writing is captivating. I'm enjoying myself thoroughly browsing through your period drama photo albums, too. :)

Melissa said...

First, I adore your blog and I'm thrilled that you're writing again!

Second, am I the only one who laughed a bit after seeing Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy playing brother and sister?

The Editrix said...

Melissa - oh my goodness, that never actually registered with me until now! That WILL be weird. . .

Miss Dashwood - thank you so much! You're sweet. :-)

Thanks Rebekah, I'll be sure to do that!

Laurie, it will indeed be interesting!

Amelia, I quite agree. If you're going to adapt an 800+ page classic for the screen, give it the Bleak House treatment! At least the miniseries or soap opera format allows time to develop the story and characters as they deserve.

I'd still like to see the new Jane Eyre - of course they'll have to leave out chunks of the story, but it looks like a decent film translation of the book, and I'm curious to see what it's like.

I so agree about Little Women. The feminist undertones in the 1994 version also bothered me. I'd love to see someone attempt a TV adaptation of Little Women sometime.

Abby said...

Mm, I have to say I'm a little sceptical simply because it is a pretty huge book to fit into a couple of hours, but I'm intrigued all the same :) I recently got myself a copy of the book, so I'm hoping to have a go at reading it before this new version comes out.

Although I can't really comment much on the cast list, it certainly looks interesting! Some of my favourite actors are there, and it's a nice mix - as you say - of new and old faces :)


The Editrix said...

Abby, I hope you enjoy the book! It's quite an effort - but worth it.

Anonymous said...

Keira Knightley is not at all suited for the role, Anna Karenina. The charming and the classical beauty Daniela Denby-Ashe Would be the Anna Karenina. Daniela has got the sparkle in her eyes. British film industry should recognize the talent of Daniela. Keira cannot act well and look half dead and no sparking in her eyes. Daniela would have been the perfect Anna Karenina

Anonymous said...

Daniela Denby Ashe would have the perfect Anna Karenina. Daniela has the charm as well as the sparkle in her eyes. Keira cannot act as well as Daniela. Hope the British industry will recognize the talent of Daniela Denby Ashe