A lot of my friends seemed frustrated with the first trailer for Baz Luhrmann‘s The Great Gatsby, what with its comparisons to Romeo + Juliet and Moulin Rouge! They thought that it somehow cheapened the source material to have the movie cast with a bevy of familiar faces and the story updated to feel less stuffy; such energy could be misinterpreted as silliness. I wouldn’t be surprised if those same people are upset with the trailer for Anna Karenina, another famous novel being turned into a movie starring Keira Knightley, Jude Law, and Aaron Johnson in this literary love triangle.
I can’t embed it, so you’ll have to check it out here. If you’re not familiar with the plot of Leo Tolstoy‘s novel, its titular heroine (Knightley) struggles to decide if she should leave her government official husband (Law) for the affluent Count Vronsky (Johnson). Her choice ultimately leaves her shunned and unable to make friends or gain any sympathy. I won’t say any more, but she’s certainly a tragic heroine.
But before all that, let’s consider the trailer. The costumes are gorgeous and the accents decent, but the tone might not be “authentic” enough for all audiences. It’s got an ethereal quality, which is no surprise since director Joe Wright worked with Keira on 2007′s Atonement. Whereas Great Gatsby is frenetic and breathless, Anna Karenina is more dreamlike, slower-moving. But they share that grandiose scale and slightly modern feel. Also, judging from the above poster and the theater portions of the trailer, I wouldn’t be surprised if Keira-as-Anna’s journey through the film ended up really meta.
You know, I’m personally still more excited for The Great Gatsby because I like my period films to have some sort of unstoppable thrust. But I think that this will still be darkly beautiful, for fans of that. Would you go see it?
Photo: Focus Features