Tagged: Kelly Macdonald

Anna Karenina

Summary: The third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright, following the award-winning boxoffice successes Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love). The story powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart.

Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina (Knightley) enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky (Johnson). As Anna questions her happiness and marriage to Alexei Karenin (Law), change comes to all around her.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Joe Wright

Screenwriter: Tom Stoppard, Leo Tolstoy (novel)

Cast: Marine Battier (Mlle. Roland), Max Bennett (Petritsky), Bodil Blain (Princess Sorokina Senior), Nicholas Blatt (Major Domo), Antony Byrne (Colonel Demin), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Masha), Kenneth Collard (Prince Tverskoy), Sam Cox (Kapitonich), Buffy Davis (Agafia), Cara Delevingne (Princess Sorokina), Michelle Dockery (Princess Myagkaya), Steve Evets (Theodore), Emerald Fennell (Princess Merkalova), Aruhan Galieva (Aruhan), Freya Galpin (Masha Oblonsky), Domhnall Gleeson (Levin), Tillie-Bett Grant (Baby Anya), Carl Grose (Korney), Holliday Grainger (Baroness), Paul Ham (Michael), Byran Hands (Mikhail Slyudin), Hera Hilmar (Varya), Thomas Howes (Yashvin), Giles King (Stemov), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina), Jude Law (Karenin), Henry Lloyd-Jones (Burisov), Susanne Lothar (Princess Scherbatsky), Kelly Macdonald (Dolly), Matthew Macfadyen (Oblonsky), Eric MacLennan (Matey), Jude Monk McGowan (Tuskevitch), Oskar McNamara (Serhoza), Beatrice Morrissey (Vasya Oblonsky), Cecily Morrissey (Lili Oblonsky), Octavia Morrissey (Tanya Oblonsky), Theo Morrissey (Grisha Oblonsky), Luke Newberry (Vasily Lukich), Raphael Personnaz (Alexander Vronsky), Alexandra Roach (Countess Nordston), Guro Nagelhus Schia (Annushka), Bill Skarsgard (Makhotin), Kyle Soller (Korrsunsky), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Vronsky), Pip Torrens (Prince Shcherbatsky), Alicia Vikander (Kitty), Eros Vlahos (Boris), Emily Watson (Countess Lydia Ivanova), Olivia Williams (Countess Vronsky), David Wilmot (Nikolai), Ruth Wilson (Princess Betsy Tverskoy)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Anna Karenina’ Review: 

Yet another classic masterpiece of literature finds its way onto the big screen with the ambitious project from director Joe Wright (‘Hanna’, ‘The Soloist’) and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (‘Enigma’, TV’S ‘Parade’s End’), a project that has seen them turn Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel ‘Anna Karenina’ into a two-hour film.

For those who have never been forced to read the novel at school the story Based on the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy the film sees Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley – ‘Stars In Shorts’, ‘Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World’) become involved in an intense love triangle with her wealthy husband, Karenin (Jude Law – ‘Side Effects’, ‘Rise Of The Guardians’) and a young soldier, Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson – ‘Savages’, ‘Albert Nobbs’). While her relationship with Karenin seems steady, Anna must face potential status ruin if she wants to pursue this new exciting love.

Meanwhile Levin (Domhnall Gleeson – ‘Dredd’, ‘Shadow Dancer’) finally plucks up the courage to ask the beautiful Kitty (Alicia Vikander – ‘A Royal Affair’, ‘The Crown Jewels’) to marry him, but because she is also wrapped up in Vronsky she says no, which in turn shatters Levin and has him sadly wasting away.

To his credit Joe Wright doesn’t exactly rest on his laurels and produce yet another period film, no he instead decides to be a little creative and film most of ‘Anna Karenina’ inside a theatre, the end result is a film in the vein of ‘Moulin Rouge!’ that seems to suggest that this is a very public love affair that needs an audience. This inventive style, which includes sets changing in front of the audience’s eyes, does take a little while to get used to but once you feel that you are in line with the flow it actually ends up looking pretty sensational.

Still Wright is let down a little by Stoppard’s work. The original ‘Anna Karenina’ meanders through a lot of characters lives and sadly it seems that Stoppard seems to include too many of these characters in this film version. The main emphasis needs to on Anna/Karenin/Vronsky love triangle, but while the Levin and Kitty romance is entertaining to watch it seems that throughout the film it gets in the way of the main story, especially when those characters are geographically removed from being anywhere near Anna.

The big plus side to ‘Anna Karenina’ is the acting. Keira Knightley puts in one of her best performances in years and she well supported by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who although very removed from the role that made him famous, in ‘Kick-Ass’) puts in a wonderful performance… as does Alicia Vikander who on the back of her performance in ‘A Royal Affair’ indicates that she has a very big future ahead of her.

Sadly these performances are dragged down by Jude Law who surprisingly puts in one of his few poor performances. It seems as though he feels that the character of Karenin should never show emotion on his face, which seems like a poor choice seeing Karenin shows emotion in the film a lot – whether it be sadness or anger.

As far as modern blockbusters go ‘Anna Karenina’ is well worth a look. Wright’s interesting and inventive visual styling certainly brings something to the film, although there are a couple of lulls in the film that have been known to put audience members to sleep.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Anna Karenina′: Check Episode #20 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Anna Karenina’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘Anna Karenina’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:Anna Karenina (2012) on IMDb

Summary:

Pixar Animation Studios, the creator of Toy Story 3, whisks you away on an astonishing adventure to an ancient land full of mystery and tradition. Bursting with heart, unforgettable characters and Pixars signature humor, Brave is a rousing, gorgeously animated good time, raves Peter Travers of Rolling Stone.Take a heroic journey with Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor. Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defi es an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land. When Meridas actions inadvertently unleash chaos in the kingdom, she must harness all of her skills and resources including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers to undo a beastly curse before its too late, and discover the meaning of true bravery.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st June, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: 21th November, 2012

Country: United States

Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Steve Purcell

Screenwriter: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman, Irene Mecchi, Steve Purcell

Cast: Peigi Barker (Young Merida (voice)), Robbie Coltrane (Lord Dingwall (voice)), Billy Connolly (Fergus (voice)), Steven Cree (Young Macintosh (voice)), Craig Ferguson (Lord Macintosh (voice)), Eilidh Fraser (Maudie (voice)), Sally Kinghorn (Maudie (voice)), Kelly Macdonald (Merida (voice)), Kevin McKidd (Lord MacGuffin/Young MacGuffin (voice)), Callum O’Neil (Wee Dingwell (voice)), Steve Purcell (The Crow (voice)), John Ratzenberger (Gordon (voice)), Emma Thompson (Elinor (voice)), Julie Walters (The Witch (voice))

Runtime: 100 mins

Classification:PG

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Brave’ Review:

Okay sit down and strap yourself in because I’m about to say something that may be a shock to some people. Brave is one of the best animated films of all time. It doesn’t take rocket science to come to that conclusion because this is one film that simply doesn’t do anything wrong.

Disney Pixar answers their critics who recently slammed the company for never creating strong female characters by revealing Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, TV’S Boardwalk Empire), one of the strongest female characters to grace our screens in a long, long time.

While Merida’s mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson – Men In Black 3, Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2) wants Merida to be a good Princess and marry one of the Kingdom’s eligible batchelors her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly – The Ballad Of Nessie, Gullivar’s Travels) encourages to follow her dreams and become a warrior.

Angry that it seems her mother will get her way Merida meets a witch (Julie Walters – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Part 2, Gnomeo & Juliet) and asks her to do a spell that will change everything… the only problem is that happens in a way that becomes life-threatening.

One of the standouts with Brave is the fabulous work put in by the film’s directors, Mark Andrews (Violet, One Man Band) and Brenda Chapman (The Prince Of Egypt). Aided by spectacular feats of animation these talented directors bring a look and feel to this film that most animated films would be envious of. The detail in the shots taken in the forest are amazing, you can even see the lines on each of the leaves.

Another brave decision by the filmmakers that really pays off is the fact that they went with Scottish actress Kelly Macdonald (who most people would remember from Trainspotting) to voice Merida. Most producers would have lined up Hollywood’s latest starlet and just asked her to put on a Scottish accent, but in the case of Brave you feel that would have been something that really wouldn’t have worked.

With a brilliant script and some of the best animation work that you are ever likely to see Brave is one film that will be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Brave’: http://www.helium.com/items/2336831-movie-reviews-brave-2012.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Brave (2012) on IMDb