Tag Archives: Keira Knightley

Anna Karenina: Never-ending drama

Keira Knightley and Aaron Taylor-Johnson star in Anna Karenina. Courtesy of Alliance Films

Leo Tolstoy’s first official novel (according to Tolstoy), Anna Karenina, is regarded as the greatest novel of all time (2007 “The Top Ten in Time”). In its thirteenth film adaptation, director Joe Wright gives the story a staged theatrical spin. However, all the glamorous theatrics cannot spark life into this endless melodrama.

Anna is an upper class socialite in 19th century Russia whose affair with an affluent Count defames her among society’s highest ranks and throws her life into disrepute.

Whether it was the director’s or the writer’s idea to have the movie’s scenes transition from stage to the cinematic world – It just doesn’t work. It acts purely to bring the audience out of the fantasy world they are attempting to draw us into.

The story itself is a drawn out soap opera that seldom features a thought provoking moment outside of the infidelity and flashy wardrobes and sets.

The cast makes due with what they are given. No performances stand out or are even worth mentioning. It all felt very… adequate.

This is the first Joe Wright film I did not enjoy. In fact, I downright detested it. Unlike past treasures of his, such as Pride and Prejudice and Atonement (both period pieces), this film fails on every count outside of costume design.

Bottom Line: Unless you are a diehard fan of the novel, stay miles away from this heap of pretentious babble.

Grade D+

Runtime: 130 minutes
3D: No

London Boulevard: Bare minimum home release

Collin Farrell stars as a no-nonsense ex-con turned bodygaurd in London Boulevard. Photo courtesy of eOne Entertainment

In 2006, Martin Scorcese remade Mou Gaan Dou into The Departed and finally won his first Oscar (long overdue, if you ask me). Four years later, Oscar winning writer William Monahan rehashes The Departed, which he wrote, with an all British cast in London Boulevard.

In this movie, based on Ken Bruen’s novel, we follow ex-con, Mitchel (Collin Farrell), attempting to steer clear of the criminal world and work as a bodyguard for retired young actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley).

The premise doesn’t sound a lot like The Departed, but the characters, and latter half of the film fail to differentiate from it. This being Monahan’s directorial debut, we can only hope his future projects will show greater originality and dramatic envelopment.

Fortunately, the performances were solid from the entire cast. Collin Farrell delivers one of his better performances as a tough, but sensitive ex-con who has found a new life. My favourite performance came from David Thewlis – The drug happy, ex-actor turned celebrity assistant who tickles the funny bone in every one of his scenes.

This film is worth watching once if you like the gangster genre, but a rental is all that is needed to enjoy it.

For this Blu Ray/DVD combo home release, I was disappointed to find the absence of any special features. Nothing extra for fans of the film to gather insights into the background of the film, or the film making process.

The image and audio quality are good, but nothing you’ll be using as demo material for your home theatre.

Bottom Line: If you’re a fan of the film and have no interest in special features, run out and pick up a copy today.

Release Date: February 20, 2012

Movie Grade: C+
Blu Ray/DVD Grade: D

Runtime: 103 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1