Some of you might have noticed that there was no post on Friday, the last day of April. Even though I had it all planned out, life just chucked its challenges at me and I wasn’t able to finish watching all Keira Knightley’s movies. And you know what? I’m fine with it. Despite the fact that sticking to my own schedule is something of a goal of mine these days. Anyway, two days late but trying not to make it into a habit. Without further ado, it’s time for Keira Knightley to shine!
WHY KEIRA KNIGHTLEY?
Last year I chose to dedicate a month to Chadiwck Boseman instead of Keira Knightley. Therefore she was skipped (although planned) in 2020 and here she is in 2021. Keira has always been the actress for me that I enjoy. She somehow managed to take over so many stages of my life. Effortlessly almost because she never took a lot of space for herself, just her movies did. And she is my period drama queen no questions asked! As somebody who is not a big fan of historical movies/period dramas, Keira makes them look amazing.
Letterboxd has 57 projects under Keira Knightley of which I took out 3 (a short, an unreleased movie and a special) and was left with 54 movies (how is this right?). Out of those I had seen 19 already which I consider quite good but still rather small for such a big number.
So I’ve seen 19 of Keira’s performances and these are my favourites: Pride and Prejudice, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Love Actually, Atonement, Laggies and Hole.
I’ve also seen Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, The Imitation Game, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Begin Again, Never Let Me Go, Bend It Like Beckham, A Dangerous Method, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, The Duchess, King Arthur and Silk.
My picks for the Hidden Gems challenge were random and I ended up watching: Domino (2005), London Boulevard (2010) and Anna Karenina (2012).
Minor spoilers ahead as always.
The realisation that this is based on a real life person made me think completely differently about this movie. That realisation hit at the end of the movie, before the end credits. So maybe a tad bit too late? One of the thing Domino does here is just dial everything up to a 10. The style, the action, the camera movements. It’s just a lot. I guess many 00’s movies where like this, and I’m not particularly a fan. Keira was an interesting casting choice here as well. I would have wanted somebody more muscle and less visual appeal. She was alright but I just didn’t see her fitting the character that well.
It’s about this female bounty hunter and a reality TV show and a money grab gone wrong? There’s a lot, there’s almost too much and considering my month was a complete train wreck mentally, I had no brain capacity to understand Domino. It’s just too flashy. And to think it’s based on a real life bounty hunter? Who died before she could see the final version but also hated how the movie was being made? I’d say she deserves a better movie.
LONDON BOULEVARD (2010)
Again blame the hectic work week but I can’t remember this movie well. I watched it in two sittings. Half of it in one week, the other in the other week. Barely remembered the first half, was very confused during the second half. Anyway it’s basically like a British crime movie. It’s very similar to Layer Cake by the way! The vibes, the sort of behind the back meddling. It’s all something I’d seen before.
Keira is portraying an actress fed up with the media. She makes out with Colin Farrell here so at least there’s some good action! (Ironic how that’s something I remember very well about this movie). Other than that it’s a forgettable movie with not much to hang on to. The ending feels super familiar and nothing new. I’m sure even if I did remember it fully, it would have been a miss.
Before I get to my final pick here is Allie from Often Off Topic! Allie’s April was all about Michael B. Jordan. Read about her hidden gems month RIGHT HERE.
ANNA KARENINA (2012)
Last but not least I got to see Keira in her element – a period drama! I love Keira in anything that is not in our time. She just fits that type of genre. Anna Karenina is a well known novel by Lev Tolstoy that I haven’t read. I did see a play once with my grandmother, it was very minimal and I remember very little of it. The movie though, how much style can one fit in one movie?
Joe Wright does alright here I think. Though at some times I wanted to see less flair and more story building, the movie itself has its moments. I liked the dance sequence choreography, I loved the costumes. Adored Matthew McFadyen here even though seeing him and Keira as brother and sister felt weird.
As far as all three movies go Anna Karenina was definitely the strongest. Is it a hidden gem? I wouldn’t say it is. There is a certain balance that’s missing here and though some of the style and editing choices worked, a lot of it was just too much for me. Also with such a big cast a lot of the side characters lost their story a bit. I know it’s an 800 page novel so it’s adaptation is bound to lose some flair but I feel like Anna Karenina also would have worked better as a miniseries. Story wise… flair wise, I mean we have this movie.
While everything else this month went wrong I didn’t expect a lot of success from this months hidden gems challenge either. It is the first month where I felt like the movies didn’t manage to capture my attention and rip me out of my everyday worries. While Anna Karenina was definitely the strongest and become the favourite of this month, the previous months have had better movies. So April is probably not a hidden gem kind of month – nor was it a good month for me.
Still I’m glad I’m keeping up with the challenge. With a minor delay this time around but still going strong. Next month is James McAvoy so I’m expecting to be entertained a lot. Summer is going to be fun as well with Rachel Weisz, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Idris Elba. All in all I’m still very much excited about this year’s Hidden Gems challenge! Bring it on!
Previously on Hidden Gems – AUDREY HEPBURN
Next up on Hidden Gems – JAMES MCAVOY
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Anna Karenina wasn’t a good movie to me. I like Keira Knightley but I found myself not being sympathetic towards her because of the bad decisions she’s made. I didn’t like the presentation of it and I ended up feeling sorry more towards Jude Law’s character as someone who ended up being right all along.
Domino I thought was OK as Knightley was good in that. I haven’t seen London Boulevard.
I think that’s basically the premise of the novel either. She’s an unlikable character in many ways and her decisions are driven by lust which makes the things she does less logical. I kind of like it because of that.
You can’t win them all! That’s an impressive number of her movies that you’ve seen though! I’ve only seen Anna Karenina from your picks and I have to be honest, I can’t remember anything about it.
Generally, I don’t enjoy period dramas but for Keira I’ll give them a chance!
I’m VERY MUCH looking forward to your next Hidden Gems post. Because of…reasons.
I can see why you forgot Anna Karenina. It’s very forgettable in a way, though it has some cool technical solutions tho. And the costumes look pretty. 😀
Looking forward for next month as well… wooo! 😀