Reports confirm that Keira Knightley is set to star opposite Benedict Cumberbatch in director Morten Tyldum’s (Headhunters) The Imitation Game. The indie drama about the brilliant British mathematician and cryptographer Alan Turing will center on his breaking of the German enigma code at the end of World War II, his prosecution by his own government for being a homosexual and his resulting suicide. With Cumberbatch in the lead role, Knightley would play “a woman from a very conservative background who not only forms a complicated relationship with Turing but is there for him until the end,” according to THR.
A change is in order for the cast of director Lynn Shelton’s (Your Sister’s Sister) upcoming dark comedy Laggies. The story centers on a 28-year-old woman named Megan who is unable to cope with the pressures brought on by her boyfriend’s recent marriage proposal. In turn, she escapes into the comfort of adolescence by befriending a group of high schoolers. Anne Hathaway was initially set to lead the film as Megan, but due to scheduling conflicts with Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi pic Interstellar, she has had to back out. EW now reports that Keira Knightley is in talks to come on as Hathaway’s replacement, and should she sign on the actress would appear onscreen opposite Chloe Grace Moretz, whose character is befriended by the grown-up Megan.
The project will mark a nice progression for Knightley, who lead last year’s swell romantic drama Anna Karenina and recently wrapped the studio thriller Jack Ryan and the indie Can a Song Save Your Life?.
Tackling a seminal work of fiction always presents a filmmaker with a unique set of challenges, even more so than book adaptations in general. For director Joe Wright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard on Anna Karenina, those included not only condensing a mammoth book into a slightly over two-hour movie but doing so in a manner that stood out from the numerous previous adaptations. The result is a mixed bag with many parts to love individually but a whole that simply falls short.
Continuing on with our “Road to Oscar” feature, today we’re going to take a look at how the race for Best Actress played out over the past 12 months. With the 85th Academy Awards taking place this coming Sunday, we figured this week would be a nice opportunity to reflect on how a number of Oscar categories got to where they are today. Join us after the jump as we break down the race for Best Actress.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World came out in the middle of summer and died a quick death, even though it starred Steve Carell and Keira Knightley. It’s likely the subject matter, which is inherently bleak. Because, even if the film pulls a last minute switcheroo, the set up is that the world’s going to end, which makes audiences question their own mortality. But though the filmmaking is simply adequate, the premise and performers make the movie an interesting visit. Our review of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World on Blu-ray follows after the jump.
The 2013 awards race is in full swing, and what better way to spend the Thanksgiving holiday then to take a closer look at how the categories are shaping up thus far? Over the next few days we’re providing a bit of an overview of what the state of the race looks like at this point in time. Yesterday we ran down the contenders for Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress, and today we’ll be taking a look at the fiercely competitive categories for Best Actor and Best Actress. Hit the jump to read on.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Anna Karenina opens today in limited release.]
Joe Wright is a gifted director. His direction is daring, inventive, captivating, and unforgettable. But that doesn’t make him a great director. A great director finds a way to take the material he’s given and bring it to its maximum potential. Joe Wright doesn’t elevate his movies; he exceeds them. Pride and Prejudice and Hanna are marvelous, but Atonement and The Soloist are terrible. Granted, any director can only do so much with a script he’s given, but Wright seems content to leave his poor stories in the dust so that we can sit in awe at his bold direction like the long take of Dunkirk in Atonement or the musical colors in The Soloist. In his new film, Anna Karenina, Wright has once again blown past his story by using a melodrama to wrap his fascinating framing device rather than the other way around. Anna Karenina is a wonder to behold, but it leaves you wondering what you’re holding.
Keira Knightley plays the title character in Anna Karenina, director Joe Wright’s bold, new romantic drama adaptation of the epic Tolstoy story of forbidden love set in 1874 Imperial Russia. The film, which opens in theaters on November 16th, marks the acclaimed director’s third collaboration with the Academy Award-nominated actress and also stars Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
At the film’s Los Angeles press day, Knightley talked about what drew her to the project, what about Wright’s vision made it stand out for her, why she saw Anna Karenina as a terrifying character, how she worked with the other actresses to create the impressive on-screen chemistry for the film’s female relationships, how her costumes played a pivotal role in telling her character’s story, why her film choices are all about story rather than where or when it’s set, and how she likes period, sci-fi and fantasy films as a dramatic tool. She also explained why she decided to move away from darker period pieces and do more contemporary films that are pure entertainment including the recently completed music drama, Can a Song Save Your Life?, and the large scale Tom Clancy thriller, Jack Ryan, directed by Kenneth Branagh, in which she stars opposite Chris Pine. Hit the jump to read the full interview.
Keira Knightley plays the title character in Anna Karenina, director Joe Wright’s bold, new romantic drama adaptation of the epic Tolstoy story of forbidden love set in 1874 Imperial Russia, which marks the director’s third collaboration with the Academy Award-nominated actress. We sat down with Knightley at a roundtable interview today to talk about Anna Karenina, and while we were at it we also asked her about her upcoming projects including the Tom Clancy thriller, Jack Ryan, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, which is currently in production.
Knightley explained why her film choices are all about story rather than where or when it’s set, how she likes period, sci-fi and fantasy films as a dramatic tool, why she decided this year to move away from darker period pieces and do a couple contemporary films that are pure entertainment including the recently completed music drama Can a Song Save Your Life? and the large scale thriller, Jack Ryan. In Jack Ryan, Knightley plays the female lead opposite Chris Pine who steps into the titular role played previously by Alex Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck. Hit the jump for more.
Opening this Friday is director Joe Wright’s adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina. The film takes place in late 19th century Russian society and stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness. In true Wright fashion, this isn’t exactly a straightforward adaptation; the director has set much of the film in a lush theater that uses over 100 interconnected sets to allow the action to move fluidly through a door and into a separate setting entirely. The film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Olivia Williams. For more on Anna Karenina, here’s Matt’s review, five clips, and all our previous coverage.
At the press day for the film, I spoke to Keira Knightley. We talked about her working relationship with Joe Wright (they’ve previously made Atonement and Pride & Prejudice), how she found out Wright wanted to tell the story in an unconventional way, her love of doing long takes, and why she wanted to do Kenneth Branagh‘s Jack Ryan. Hit the jump to watch.
Five clips from director Joe Wright’s adaptation of the classic Leo Tolstoy novel Anna Karenina have been released. The film takes place in late 19th century Russian society and stars Keira Knightley as an adulterer who questions her happiness. In true Wright fashion, this isn’t exactly a straightforward adaptation; the director has set much of the film in a lush theater that uses over 100 interconnected sets to allow the action to move fluidly through a door and into a separate setting entirely. Early word has praised the gorgeous framing device, and it should be fun to take it all in when the pic hits theaters later this month.
Hit the jump to watch the clips. The film also stars Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Olivia Williams. Anna Karenina opens on November 16th.
While walking the floor of the American Film Market (AFM) this morning, Steve was able to grab some images and synopses for a few upcoming films. Briefly:
- Rush – Director Ron Howard’s 1970s drama focuses on the rivalry between Formula 1 racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl). The film opens September 20th, 2013.
- Can a Song Save Your Life? – This uplifting music-centered drama comes from Once director John Carney and centers on the relationship between a struggling musician (Keira Knightley) and a music producer (Mark Ruffalo) in New York City. The cast also includes Hailee Steinfeld, Adam Levine, and Catherine Keener.
- Thérèse – This adaptation of the classic novel stars Elizabeth Olsen as a young woman trapped in an arranged marriage who conspires with her lover (Oscar Isaac) to dispose of her sickly cousin husband (Tom Felton). Jessica Lange also stars.
Hit the jump to check out images and detailed synopses for all three films.
Focus Features has released eight posters for Joe Wright‘s Anna Karenina. Each poster highlights a different kind of love featured in the movie, although some of them are a bit redundant like the “forbidden love” and “scandalous love” between Anna (Keira Knightley) and Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) or the “pure love” and “romantic love” between Levin (Domhnall Gleeson) and Kitty (Alicia Vikander). Adjectives aside, Anna Karenina is a big, bold romance film, and while I wasn’t completely taken with it, I talked to plenty of people at TIFF who were.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The film also stars Jude Law, Matthew Macfadyen, Kelly Macdonald, and Olivia Williams. Anna Karenina opens November 16th.
Although principal photography commenced on director Kenneth Branagh’s Jack Ryan a short while ago, Paramount has now officially announced the production. We previously brought you set photos of Chris Pine as the title character, his CIA liaison as played by Kevin Costner and even a shot of Branagh as the film’s villain. Jack Ryan also stars Keira Knightley, who Steve had a chance to talk to about the film while at the Toronto International Film Festival. Be sure to check out Jack Ryan, the latest Tom Clancy adaptation which hits theaters Christmas Day, 2013. Hit the jump for the press release.
A reboot of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan character has been in the works for the past few years, but the project has now finally gotten off the ground under the direction of Kenneth Branagh as Jack Ryan is currently in production. Chris Pine steps into the role that was previously portrayed onscreen by Alec Baldwin (The Hunt for Red October), Harrison Ford (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger), and Ben Affleck (The Sum of All Fears), and this time around the titular Jack Ryan is an ex-Marine working as a Moscow-based financial analyst. Conflict is set in motion when he uncovers a plot by his employer (Branagh, pulling double duty) to finance a terrorist attack designed to collapse the U.S. economy.
Keira Knightley is set as the film’s female lead, and Steve recently spoke with the actress at the Toronto Film Festival for her upcoming romantic drama adaptation Anna Karenina. Knightley talked about what incited her to do a large-scale thriller after dabbling in smaller budget fare over the past few years and how her affection for Branagh drew her to the project. Hit the jump to see what she had to say.