The famed Russian tragedy follows Anna (Keira Knightley) as she falls in love with a calvary soldier (Aaron Johnson), which is a problem since she’s already married to a man 20 years her senior (Jude Law).
“Anna Karenina” has been turned into a feature film countless times before, but this version is a bit different, as Wright (“Atonement”) explains in the beginning of the clip. Wright aims to create a “fluid linearity” throughout the film, where actors can physically move from scene to scene. The film predominantly takes place in a dilapidated theater. “You can walk from one house, under the stage, straight off to the horse training ground and go through a door, and there’s a Russian landscape,” Wright explains in the clip.
The six-minute film sequence begins with Anna entering a beautiful ballroom — with a ceiling that opens to show a fireworks display — and ends in Anna’s chambers, where she has a chilling conversation with her husband Karenin. This theatrical take on Leo Tolstoy’s realist novel is sure to draw some skeptics, but with Wright at the helm — and playwright Tom Stoppard (“Shakespeare in Love”) behind the script — the movie is pure Oscar bait.
In addition to Knightley (who co-starred in both “Atonement” and Wright’s “Pride and Prejudice”) and Johnson, the film features Kelly Macdonald, “Harry Potter” actor Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley!) and Emily Watson. And yes, that is Michelle Dockery in the ballroom, playing a character that remarkably resembles her “Downton Abbey” persona Lady Mary.
“Anna Karenina” arrives in theaters on Nov. 9.