Keira Knightley has been getting rave reviews for her performance in Anna Karenina. An article from The Telegraph today (September 7, 2012) reveals that that movie hit an enormous stumbling block before production had even begun, though; one which could have been critical to the film's success. JOE WRIGHT, the film's director explained that he had huge doubts about the future of the film last summer, when he was struggling to find a suitable location to film.
There have been 12 previous versions of Anna Karenina committed to celluloid and every suitable location that Wright scouted in St. Petersberg and Moscow turned out to already have been used. Looking for locations in the UK was equally fruitless: "in England, we were looking around stately homes thinking, 'Well, if we shot it from this angle it could look kind of Russian.' Then someone would say, 'We've had Keira Knightley here five times before.' And it just felt like I was treading the same ground, not only that other people had trod, but also that I'd trod myself. Eventually, he decided to set the film in a "19th century dilapidated theatre." From that turning point and with Tom Stoppard's sprawling script to guide him, "love became a guiding principle for the film."
In the main, the gamble appears to have paid off, though most critics seem more enamored by Knightley's performance than with the film as a whole. Time Out's review remarks that she looks "more like an honest-to-goodness movie star" than she has in the past, though the general sentiment is that the rest of the movie fails to back up her stellar performance, leaving many critics unsatisfied.