To say that Keira Knightley is no Garbo is like saying an asteroid is no supernova; I have never seen her in a film without pining for a different casting decision, says David Larsen.
It is not as obviously absurd to film Anna Karenina as it is, say, to mime Beethoven’s Ninth. But at a certain point, the scale differential between a novel and a film amounts to an unbridgeable gulf. Tolstoy does not give you the option of extracting his tragic Anna from her tragedy-inducing context: if you want to put her on a screen, you need to get a universe of detail up there with her.
Many have tried. At least two dozen women have played Anna on screen over the past century, including Greta Garbo and Vivien Leigh. To say that Keira Knightley is no Garbo is like saying an ...
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