Tolstoy Lite

Anna Karenina
directed by Joe Wright
Release date: 11/9/12

Has everyone taken in the succulent splendor of this trailer for the latest Anna Karenina update? When I saw it float by in the ether of my Facebook feed, I pounced because Keira Knightley in period garb is like fucking crack to me. I will watch anything where she is required to wear a bonnet, petticoat, jewels, metallic armored nipple-straps, whatever. For some reason, this girl’s got a gift for timeless waifery. She can slice clean through any era with her emaciated tendons and dark bottomless eyes like Pensieves.

Though I love Mz. Skellington, historical epics are not usually my bag. To be honest, I don’t read a lot of “good” literature or know actual facts about monarchies and political histories aside from what I numbly absorb from 5 AM Wikipedia adventures. I wish I could expound on Tolstoy’s novel and relate it to this juicy glittery thing. But honestly, all I know of the story is this trailer, and they suckered me. I’m gonna see it.

First of all, the look of this film is so beautiful. I could have done without the actual editing of the trailer (I could die happy without seeing another schizophrenic series of ballroom dancing shots), but the color palette and lighting seems to set this production apart from its peers. I like how inky and ethereal and golden everything looks – it reminds me of a BBC miniseries, but drawn in lustier strokes.

I also love the casting. Actually, I hate the casting, but that’s only because it reveals the painful passage of time. Jude Law as the older balding husband?! What has this world COME to? But I’ve always thought he was a lovely actor, with a wounded cockiness and sensitivity that seems always to be the purview of popular prettyboys. It will be interesting to see what he does with a more muted role like this. And Aaron Taylor-Johnson is wonderful as well – he’s often miscast, but he’s a consistent performer and I could see him handling turbulent emotion beneath classical Russian stoicism. Can’t abandon this paragraph without mentioning Keira, either – everyone needs to shut up, because although she has a creepy mantis body and has no range as an actress, she plays one thing well. And that’s gorgeous borderline-psychotic damsel. She gonna kill this.

Who wants to button up their bodice, take some Stoli shots, and see this with me? Then we can lay about afterwards in an aristocratic malaise and all pretend we totally read the novel.

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