It’s no secret that I love Joe Wright’s work and as much as I loved Hanna, it’s going to take more than on really great action thriller to convince me that period dramas, and more specifically period dramas based on acclaimed novels, aren’t Wright’s calling. He can take all the time he needs and test any waters he might as long as he comes back to the period drama because few directors today seem to handle the material quite as well as Wright does.
It remains to be seen if Anna Karenina, an adaptation of of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel no less, will be just as wonderful as most of Wright’s previous projects but the first trailer certainly suggests as much. The project is adapted by Oscar winner Tom Stoppard and re-unites Wright’s muse Keira Knightley with Matthew Macfadyen and adds the likes of Kelly Macdonald, Jude Law, Emily Watson and Aaron Johnson (the Kick-Ass star seems the odd-man out until you consider his filmography and realise that actually Kick-Ass seemed less in line with his other work though it is what most people know him for).
It’s lush, it’s gorgeous, the music soars, the costumes shine, Knightley looks beaten, Law looks angry and Johnson seems to be filling the role of heartbreaker to a tee. Even more so than Wright’s previous projects, watching this trailer I was reminded of the old romantic epics I love so much. Yes, I thought of Gone with the Wind but what it mostly reminds me of is David Lean’s Doctor Zhivago (interesting bit of useless trivia: in 2002, Knightley starred in a TV adaptation of “Doctor Zhivago.”). Basically, this looks glorious.
Anna Karenina will break our hearts on November 9th.