I remember when this film came out, everyone was going on about how terrible Russell Crowes’ accent was, and I just want to say that it didn’t bother me. There were accents all over the shop, I had no idea who was supposed to be from where, and didn’t really care.
The film tells the story from when Robin Longstride (Russell Crowe) and his mates are fighting under King Richard the Lionheart in France, only when the king dies, they nick off home, pretending to be some nobles whose they find dying along the way. After delivering the news to the new king, Robin goes to tell the noble’s father that his son is dead. The father, Sir Walter Loxley (Max von Sydow) convinced Robin to stay and assume his son’s identity to ensure that the land is not taken away from the widow, Marion (Cate Blanchett). And the story continues up to the point where Robin and his mates become outlaws.
In general, I didn’t mind this movie. It’s wasn’t amazing, and personally if I was to watch a film about a rebel in the olden days in Britain, I’d sooner watch Rob Roy or even Braveheart. What really bugged me was that Cate Blanchett had a very average role to play, and there was absolutely no chemistry between her Marion and Crowe’s Robin. It felt like it was close to being a good story but never quite made it.
Tom Builder (Rufus Sewell) is not having a good time. Winter is coming, and he and his family are struggling to find somewhere to live and work that will feed them all. After an arduous and disastrous journey, they end up in a small town in England a long time ago (the twelfth century, apparently) but the church burns down. So, Prior Phillip (Matthew MacFadyen) decides to build a cathedral with Tom Builder. However, the guy who is the next boss up, church-wise Waleran Bigod (Ian McShane) doesn’t want it to happen and will do whatever is in his power to stop it. Oh, and then there is whole heap of battling between the new king and the old king’s daughter who could not inherit the crown because she’s not male. And a boat sank, killing her brother, and there is a lot to do with that too.
I’ve been told by many that the books that this series is based on are fabulous. Certainly, it is a very good show, with a bit of a Game of Thrones feel to it, but everything gets beautifully tied up at the end.
Set in Russia quite some time ago, Anna Karenina tells the story of Anna (Keira Knightly) who is happily married to the staid and steady (and boring) older man, Karenin (Jude Law) until she meets the charming soldier, Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). They cause a scandal in society with their flirtatious looks and dancing and eventually their love brings them both down.
This is an extremely beautiful film. Cinematically stunning, with the theatrical absurdity that I have long loved from Tom Stoppard. For me, the film was a bit long, but it was so stunning that I didn’t mind. I didn’t even mind Keira Knightly’s pouting or the long, drawn-out shots with the single tear slowly tracking down her face. It was worth it even just for the spectacular dance sequences with the languid and stunning movements. I wish I’d seen it on the big screen.
Anna Karenina won Oscars for Best Achievement in Costume Design and was nominated for Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score and Best Achievement in Production Design. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score – Motion Picture, won a BAFTA for Best Costume Design and was nominated for BAFTAs for Best British Film, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Film Music and Best Make Up/Hair