Monday, 12 March 2012

Movie Monday: Anna Karenina

Another week of Movie Monday, a fun meme from Stephs Stacks where books are compared to their movie counter parts on the big screen.

This week I decided to choose an upcoming film set to be released on 7th September this year, Anna Karenina. For those not familiar with the book, Anna Karenina is a novel written by Russian author, Leo Tolstoy. It is said to be one of the greatest novels ever written, while I do agree that it is a powerful story, it can get rather exhausting to read. There have been numerous adaptations, none of them really doing a great representation of the book, so I have my fingers crossed that a british version may just bring it some life.

The novel follows the story (more like tragedy) of Anna Karenina, a married socialite who has an affair with the affluent Count Vronsky, all while her family is in the middle of their own drama and infidelities. Vronsky is open to marrying Anna if only she leaves her husband. However, with pressure from Russian society and her personal insecurities, she can't get her act together. The entire novel follows the drama that is Anna's life, from attempting to follow her heart to being shunned from high society, put simply, it takes a toll on her life.
Amidst the novel is another story, throwing readers into the other side of Russian life. Set in the countryside on the estate of a landowner named Levin. It follows his life in managing his estate, personal life and marriage. Levin's story is slightly connected to Anna's through her brother Oblonsky.

While I am not in love with this book, I have a strong connection with it as my final High School English paper was written on it. For a year of my life, I was thrown deep into the characters lives and stories. The agricultural portion of the book that follows Levin is utterly exhausting, however I have family in Europe that have been through the same situations, so it was like reading their stories. It made it a little bit easier to handle. I haven't heard of any release dates for the US as this is a British film. If you do hear otherwise, do let me know.

The Book

Anna Karenina seems to have everything – beauty, wealth, popularity and an adored son. But she feels that her life is empty until the moment she encounters the impetuous officer Count Vronsky. Their subsequent affair scandalizes society and family alike and soon brings jealously and bitterness in its wake. Contrasting with this tale of love and self-destruction is the vividly observed story of Levin, a man striving to find contentment and a meaning to his life – and also a self-portrait of Tolstoy himself.

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way"

"Hideous! As long as I live I shall never forget it. She said it was a disgrace to sit beside me."

"an extraordinary woman! It's not her cleverness, but she has such wonderful depth of feeling. I'm awfully sorry for her."

The Movie

Release Date: 7 September 2012
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Tom Stoppard (screenplay), Leo Tolstoy (novel)

The film is directed by Joe Wright and is his third collaboration with Keira Knightley, one of which was for her Oscar-nominated role as Elizabeth Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice", where Matthew Macfadyen also starred as Mr Darcy.
This new adaptation includes Keira as Anna Karenina who has an affair with Vronsky, played by Aaron Johnson (the geeky guy from Kick-Ass - not the best choice in my opinion). Jude Law plays Anna's husband (look below for a hilarious aged photo of him). Matthew Macfayden (famous for his role as Mr Darcy) plays Anna's brother Oblonsky. I know its from a different movie, but just doesn't feel right to me.

No trailers as yet, so please enjoy the photos, taken from Focus Features.

Have you read the book? If so, are you looking forward to the film?
I am on the fence with the casting, some are great choices, others are not. What do you think?

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