At this point in awards season, it’s pretty hard to surprise us. The Oscar nods are going to be announced tomorrow morning, and we’re pretty sure the top of the list will look like this: Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Les Miserables, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Django Unchained, Life of Pi … So anyway, we could be inclined to yawn when looking at the nominations for the British Academy Film Awards (a.k.a. the BAFTAs), as the L films — Lincokn, Les Miz and Life of Pi — are in the lead. That’s why we like looking at the details, like the Outstanding British Film category, which gives Skyfall, Anna Karenina and Seven Psychopaths a chance to shine. There’s also the Rising Star award, nominated by a panel but voted on by the public. This year Elizabeth Olsen, Suraj Sharma (Pi), Andrea Riseborough (W.E.), Juno Temple (Dark Knight Rises) and Alicia Vikander (Anna Karenina) are the contenders. The BAFTAs will take place on February 10. Here are all the nominees:
ARGO – Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
LES MISÉRABLES – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI – Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
LINCOLN – Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
ZERO DARK THIRTY – Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
Maybe you know Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the guy who got his ass kicked, and then saved, by Chloe Moretz in Kick-Ass. Maybe you know him as the guy who got engaged to his 23-years-older Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor back when he was just 19, and now has two daughters with her. Or you could not know him at all. Yet. We’ve been keeping our eye on him lately, as he seduced us into sitting through all of the otherwise awful Savages and then as he seduced Keira Knightley into abandoning her son and society for his Count Vronsky in Anna Karenina (out today). And we think that those bedroom eyes and luscious locks will be gracing our screens a whole lot more often. When VH1 got to speak to Knightley and their AK director Joe Wright, we asked what’s so seductive about the 22-year-old Brit, and where they think he’ll go next.
“He’s a good mate, so no, I don’t think I could find anything seductive [about him],” Knightley laughed. “He’s a really lovely guy, got amazing hair. He’s wearing a wig in this film, but he actually has amazing hair. Very curly and brown. I’m quite jealous of his hair.”
She’s a fan of his acting, too, of course, but had more to say about Aaron as a family man. “He’s very funny in real life, a real sweethearts,” she said. “He is one of the best dad I’ve ever seen. He is so great with his girls.”
Wright offered this assessment of his young star’s career: “I think Aaron can do whatever he sets his mind to,” he told us. “At the moment he’s being an extraordinarily wonderful husband and father. I don’t know what he’s going to do next. It will be exciting to see.”
At the moment, Taylor-Johnson is shooting Kick-Ass 2, but we’re crossing our fingers for even more from him in the future. In the meantime, enjoy a look back at his beauty in film and on the red carpet.
You may have missed this amid all the Breaking Dawn noise, but there is another beautiful book adaptation hitting theaters this weekend that we’re very excited about — maybe you can make it a double feature? Anna Karenina marks the third collaboration between Keira Knightley and director Joe Wright, after their acclaimed work together in Atonement and Pride and Prejudice. It’s also about the thousandth time a director has chosen to cast Keira in a movie set in another time/far-off place, usually in the past, with the exception of Star Wars: Episode I. Early in her career, she appeared in TV adaptations of Oliver Twist and Doctor Zhivago. More recently, she’s worn all sorts of corsets and headpieces for the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, A Dangerous Method and The Duchess. After looking through this collection of work, we turned to Wright to explain what it is about Keira that makes people love to send her into the time machine.
“She has a kind of otherworldly beauty,” he told VH1. “It doesn’t feel like such a face could really exist walking down the street. And the way I see period movies is more like fantasies. Setting it in a time other than our own allows me to create all kinds of images and scenarios that might not be so believable if they were tethered to the contemporary world we have outside of our windows.
There’s a section in this article about Keira Knightley in the October issue of Vogue — she’s on the cover, natch — where the author prompts the actress to scrounge around her handbag. The reason why she’s being the bag lady is because Keira has to prove that she doesn’t use any special makeup or has special tricks to make her look that gorgeous. We were hoping that she did have some tips and tricks so that we could steal them and use them. But no, all she had to say was, “Just use a thin mascara brush. I find with a big mascara brush, you can get a very clumpy finish.” If only using a thin mascara brush would make us look like Keira. But we don’t, and the shoot inside of the actress dressed as a modern day Anna Karenina took our breath away. It’s not like Knightley is any stranger to period films (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement, The Duchess, A Dangerous Method) but this Joe Wright directed film looks like it’s taking epic to the next level. The role of the title character was a challenge for sure, but one she relished, saying, “When I reread the book last summer, I went, ‘Oh!’ It’s not a romance at all. I don’t think that Tolstoy is saying this is what you should do for love; quite a lot of the time he is saying the reverse. He hates Anna at certain moments. She is both a villain and a heroine. She can be incredibly vain and manipulative. She is somebody who breaks her own moral code, and yet the shame and disgust she lives with because of that make her fascinating.” We haven’t read the book in a while, but we’re guessing that Keira, dressed in those gorgeous silks and duchesse satins, is what’s going to be fascinating about the film. Those cheekbones are pretty unreal.
[Photo via Vogue]
The trailer for this fall’s much anticipated Joe Wright-directed literary adaptation Anna Karenina debuted on MSN today, giving us a glimpse at how the Atonement director is bringing the Russian classic to the big screen this November. It looks like a whole lot of sex and inner turmoil clashing with societal norms and politics, just as Tolstoy would have loved. And, of course, he knows how to highlight his star, Keira Knightley.
As we thought about Keira in the role of the scandalous Ms. Karenina, we couldn’t help but realize how very unlike that tragic lady she is. Come to think of it, she’s unlike most 27-year-old movie stars in her amazing ability to stay out of the gossip pages. All we know about her personal life these days is that she just got engaged last month to the Klaxons’ James Righton. When VH1 sat down with Knightley to talk about her new movie, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (in theaters Friday), we asked her how she manages to be so (frustratingly!) private.
“A lot of hard work, and hiding an awful lot,” she told us. “But yeah, I seem to have managed it quite well. I’m making no predictions for the future. But, you know, my privacy is incredibly important to me. .. It’s very important that I get to feel kind of free, and get to do my thing without people taking lots of pictures.”