Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina?

Sight and Sound write in their February issue that:
‘Joe Wright … is reportedly considering directing an adaptation of Tolstoy’s ‘Anna Karenina’ by Sir Tom Stoppard. The film is being developed by Working Title, who reportedly have Keira Knightley top of their wish list to play Anna.’

Knightley has proven that she can act, especially under the direction of Joe Wright. Certainly her Lizzie Bennett was full of life and vitality.

The question remains, however, is Knightley talented enough to portray the subtle nuances of Anna Karenina? Anna is an intensely complex character, foremost a mother, the actress playing her needs to be able to capture the attraction she feels for Vronsky; an attraction so severe that she chooses Vronsky over her beloved child.

Arguably, Knightley is simply not capable of undertaking such a role, her acting style is too self-conscious to truly portray the emotions that Anna goes through. Anna starts the novel as an intelligent, logical woman. She ends the novel as a paranoid, distraught shadow of her former self.

Here, rather than Keira Knightley are my top five suggestions for the role –

Gemma Arterton

Excellent in the BBC’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Arterton is a fine actress, who after doing her stint in commercial roles is finally being awarded the roles she so deserves. Her Tess was heartbreaking but never a victim, at all times maintaining an inner strength.

Andrea Riseborough

Soon to be seen in Brighton Rock, as well as Madonna directed W.E., Riseborough was wonderful in The Devil’s Whore, simultaneously seductive, calculating and entirely watchable.

Romola Garai

Often unfairly overlooked, Garai brought both pathos and maturity to her role in I Capture the Castle .She also stole the show from Knightley in Atonement.

Eva Green

A French actress (Sophie Marceau) has already played Anna, so there’s no reason why Green should not be considered for the Russian heroine. Green brings intelligence to each role she undertakes, portraying the most fully developed Bond girl in Bond history.

Natalie Portman

The Oscar buzz surrounding Black Swan should be enough to put Portman in the running. In Closer Portman brought both sexiness and vulnerability to Alice/Jane.

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