Young women bullied by their peers into committing suicide has become a staple of today's news cycle, but as Anna Karenina demonstrates, it's hardly a new phenomenon. Whether you're talking about 19th-century Russian aristocrats or Midwestern teens in the age of Facebook, as Keira Knightley tells me, "The rules of society change, but the way that society works does not." more »
Oscar-nominated actor Jude Law plays a pious aristocrat in director Joe Wright's sumptuous big screen adaptation of Anna Karenina. Almost unrecognizable behind a steely exterior, Law's Karenin is Anna's spurned husband in the film, which begins its roll out Friday and is a possible awards season heavyweight. Law seamlessly pulls off playing the high-ranking nobleman whose position at the heights of Imperial Russian society is rocked when his wife embarks on an affair with a dashing young soldier. Speaking about his role, Law, who turns 40 next month, said that he doesn't think he could have played the character when he was younger — but he certainly would have given it a go.
There's a five-minute tracking shot in the middle of Joe Wright's 2007 film Atonement that is impossible to forget once you've seen it. A wounded Robbie (James McAvoy) is on the beach at Dunkirk, waiting to be evacuated, and in a nightmarish, beautiful single Steadicam take he wanders past crowds of soldiers, burning cars, horses being shot, a beached ship, a choir singing, the ferris wheel still spinning in the ruined background. It's a mind-boggling piece of work, requiring immaculate timing and choreography, and it takes you right out of the movie because it's there to show off. more »
Oscars and Obsession: Keira Knightley Talks About 'Jumping Off A Cliff' For Joe Wright In 'Anna Karenina'
At a time when General David Petraeus' affair with his biographer has become a media obsession, Leo Tolstoy's 19th-century tale of love, adultery and aristocratic downfall, Anna Karenina, is more relevant than ever. And yet, with more than two-dozen film and TV adaptations of the novel in existence, director Joe Wright faced a daunting challenge: bringing a fresh perspective to the classic story. The gamble is whether its unique twist will translate into Oscar nominations. more »
Joe Wright's latest Anna Karenina had a cast, screenplay and plan of action in hand in the spring of 2011, but the acclaimed filmmaker of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice made a bold step a mere two months before beginning the shoot. Instead of another straightforward narrative telling of the story of the epic novel by Russian great Leo Tolstoy, he opted to go for a theatrical angle in depicting the saga of a late-19th century Russian high-society aristocrat who breaks entrenched taboos and embarks in a torrid love affair with affluent soldier, Count Vronsky. In Toronto where the film is having its World Premiere Friday night, cast members including star Keira Knightley and Wright likened the sudden change to "jumping off a cliff," but they were ready for the challenge, though not all were sure if it would ultimately succeed.
In this week's Hanna, 16-year-old knife enthusiast Saoirse Ronan joins the illustrious ranks of the lethal young women who've taken up arms (or fangs, or machine gun-arms) in the movies in the name of raining down righteous fury upon their enemies. Whether raised as assassins or transformed by tragic circumstance, these ten adolescent girls and teens don't take crap from anyone -- and they have the combined body count to prove it. If you run into any of these fierce misses in a darkened alley, let's hope they're on your side.
BAFTA-winning director Joe Wright could have stuck to his bread-and-butter area of expertise, the lush period drama, a domain in which his films have notched multiple Academy Awards just six years into a feature filmmaking career. But after making Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, and the subsequent misfire The Soloist, Wright flipped the script and re-teamed with the teenage actress he'd previously directed to an Oscar nomination -- 16-year-old Saoirse Ronan -- on Hanna, a dizzyingly kinetic action film about a girl assassin on a mission of self-discovery.
Sixteen-year-old Saoirse Ronan earns her action star stripes this week as the titular assassin of Joe Wright's thriller Hanna, a hyper-charged, globe-trotting fairytale about a feral teen sent out into the world on a mission of vengeance. With an infectious score by the Chemical Brothers to punctuate her journey, Ronan fights through droves of enemies with a fierce precision that belies her youth and petite stature -- and, as Hanna discovers friendship for the first time in her life, so too does Ronan convey a blend of preternatural maturity and childlike naiveté rarely found in performers her age.
In San Francisco to present his upcoming teen assassin thriller Hanna at WonderCon, director Joe Wright threw a few pointed barbs toward Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch, calling out the film's brand of scantily clad feminism. Speaking exclusively with Movieline, Wright elaborated on the subject, tracing the "alarming" brand of sexually-exploitative girl power found in Sucker Punch back to the Spice Girls.