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Pictures: Keira Knightley Playing 'Anna Karenina'

Anna Karenina. There have been several good versions. The last one I saw starred Helen McCrory as Anna, Stephen Dillane as her husband Karenin and Kevin McKidd as her lover, Count Vronsky.  (That one, from 2000, was peppered with great British character actors like Mark Strong as Oblonsky and Douglas Henshall as Levin. I can recommend it.). 

I'm  delighted to give you a first look at Joe Wright’s new version in which he once more teams with his muse Keira Knightley. The script is by celebrated playwright Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love).  Today, Focus Features (who also distributed the 2000 version, by the way) has released some new stills (via TheFilmStage) from the lavish production (as well as a few character scans from Empire), recreating 19th century Russia with all its opulence and its oppression.


The third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with director Joe Wright, following the award-winning box office successes Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, is the epic love storyAnna Karenina, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love). The story unfolds in its original late-19th-century Russia high-society setting and powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart, from the passion between adulterers to the bond between a mother and her children. As Anna (Ms. Knightley) questions her happiness, change comes to her family, friends, and community.

The cast includes Aaron Johnson as Vronsky, Jude Law as Karenin (I'm guessing that's the hair he was hiding under the beanie during press for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows back in December), Matthew Macfadyen as Oblonsky, Domhnall Gleeson as Levin, Kelly Macdonald as Dolly and Ruth Wilson as Princess Betsy (Wilson took the role after Andrea Riseborough dropped out). Anna Karenina will arrive in the UK on 7th September. No US date yet. We’ll keep you posted.


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