Branagh on Knightley

In a Variety “Actors on Actors” piece, Kenneth Branagh has called Keira Knightley‘s Anna Karenina performance “breathtaking…her effervescence of spirit is tangible and irresistible. Her whole being seems to blaze with a ferocity that is mesmerizing.

“This is Knightley as we have never seen her before so completely: a mature woman who is also impulsive, troubled, deceitful, sexual, passionate, heartbroken. Everything about her work here sears and scorches itself into the memory. This is an actress of subtlety and delicacy fulfilling her potential in a performance that comes from the depths. Like the novel itself, her work in the role is at once elegant and wild and compelling at every moment. A classic.”

  • bobbyperu

    Pretty much agree with Branagh on Knightley’s Anna performance and I’m still on the A Dangerous Method Keira bandwagon. By the way, she was also great in Never Let Me Go.

    It’s just that while the performance might be “classic” as he calls it, the film is anything but — I really think her work here is, more to the point, “classical,” and required the formal approach perhaps that Wright decided to jettison. In this version, every time the emotions Branagh describes come bubbling to the fore, Wright steps in to remind us that it’s all just an artificial exercise and steals Knightley’s thunder and our investment.

    It’s a shame he inadvertently betrayed her as such by suffocating her with his “vision.”

  • JoeBomowski

    Not sure why this is news, because Keira’s long been one of my favorite actresses. She is GREAT… Even in something like THE JACKET, she’s a force of nature, pure charisma and delightful and sexy and AWESOME…. Domino, Beckham, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, the INSANELY underrated ATONEMENT (one of the best movies of the 00s), and recently that 1-2-3 punch of Never Let Me Go, Dangerous Method, and now KARENINA.

    ANNA KARENINA kinda rules, by the way. That scene late in the game with this AWESOME BLUE WALLPAPER when Keira’s all pent up knowing Johnson’s moved on to a newer, younger chick, that’s pure visual beauty out of like an old crazy ’60s movie or something…. Keira all rolling into restaurants or society functions getting scorn from these old Russian hens and Law even being kind of understanding and not psycho about it all, but she just keeps on trudging ahead with the affair and LOOKING AWESOME; The second hour of AK will probably lose a lot of viewers, but it achieves this special, riveting kind of near-boredom fugue state that Jeff always writes about– it’s boring but in the best way…. You’re lulled completely into the world and Keira’s emotions, even if you’re not exactly riveted on other levels.

    Also it helps that Keira has THE– THE, and NO debate about this– PERFECT female body in almost every way.

  • Noiresque

    Atonement is overrated, not underrated, but I am a huge Keira fan. She was great in Never Let Me Go, moreso than Carey Mulligan and the dude with the hair.

  • York “Budd” Durden

    Joe, what about her feet? Any good screen caps? It’s points off for bunions.

  • DukeSavoy

    “Also it helps that Keira has THE– THE, and NO debate about this– PERFECT female body in almost every way.”

    Ha. Lex’s apprehension of buxom sexuality is a finger-wagging scold that brooks no dissension. I consider myself properly chastised for thoughts of Jennifer and Scarlett and Selma.

  • Floyd Thursby

    When it comes to perfect female bodies, I’ll go with Carla.

  • Raising_Kaned


  • Floyd Thursby


  • JoeBomowski

    Keira, Rooney, and Rachael Taylor.

    More on topic, Branagh seems like a great dude and all, and he’s definitely right…. but can a guy ever pay a beautiful woman a compliment and it NOT come off like “Kenneth Branagh angles for a date with Keira Knightley”? We wanna assume because he’s this genial old respected British stage legend that it’s fully on the level, which it probably… but you know if it was “Usher praises Keira Knightley’s acting,” it’d be 10000% obvious it was Usher trying to get laid.