The upcoming film adaptation of Anna Karenina reunites Keira Knightley with director Joe Wright, who steered the actress to her first Academy Award nod in Pride and Prejudice and a widely-praised turn in Atonement. In the new film (coming Nov. 9), based on the Leo Tolstoy novel, Knightley portrays one of literature's most iconic heroines, an aristocrat who betrays the norms of 19th century Russia to pursue a passionate extramarital affair. With the release of the film's first trailer Wednesday (view below), critics are already pegging Knightley as a shoo-in for an Oscar nod. Is she already the Best Actress frontrunner?
Definitely: Judging from the trailer, Knightley is a lock for an Oscar nomination, says Amanda Bell at Next Movie. The actress is pretty much "the go-to girl for successful classic book-to film adaptations," and for good reason: She's "so darn good" at playing old-world heroines. In this clip, she comes off "exactly as angst-riddled, troubled, and magnificent as Tolstoy devised." An Oscar nod seems like a safe bet.
"Anna Karenina trailer brings some classic Keira Knightley"
But there's heavy competition: The 2013 Oscars will be "a battle of costume dramas," says Forrest Wickman at Slate. Remember, the Anna Karenina trailer comes right on the heels of trailers for the equally Oscar-scented The Great Gatsby and Les Miserables. Wright's film "looks to be a similarly snazzy affair" and Knightley certainly will "have no trouble with the role of a civilized woman swept away with love." But with Gatsby and Les Mis competing for the high-fallutin' vote, Karenina has its work cut out for it.
"Trailer critic: Anna Karenina"
And she'll have inevitable critics: "The beautiful and anguished Knightley seems a brilliant choice" to play Anna Karenina, says Pedestrian TV. But taking on the role is a risky move. No matter how good she is, she'll be "heavily scrutinized by literary purists" who have their own opinions of how Karenina should be played. It will prove incredibly tough to overcome their overly-discerning eyes.
"Keira Knightley is a worthy Anna Karenina"