I’ll defend Keira Knightley. Even when she’s awful. That is, when she stars in awful movies. She reminds me of a female version of Tom Cruise who collects admirers and revilers in equal doses. She exudes elegance–and that voice of hers–executing the derisive, verbal fencing in period pieces with polysyllabic words sliding past full lips with grace as in Pride and Prejudice or The Duchess. Here’s a clip from the 2008 film The Duchess starring Ralph Fiennes as her lord and master, The Duke of Devonshire. Good acting or scene chewing?
Surely you agree she wears period costumes as good as anyone? Even if you don’t like the films, she is beautiful to look at in Atonement, Madame Bovary, or even Love Actually. Let’s forget about the forgettable Pirates of the Caribbean series. I didn’t mind her opposite of wooden Clive Owen as Queen Guinevere, dirty and blue, biting and shooting at the Saxons in King Arthur (2011).
Instead, consider her recent choices from this decade, now half over. Knightley is diversifying and stretching herself as an actress, and I’m impressed with her recent efforts as Megan in Laggies (2014), Joan Clarke in The Imitation Game (Will she win an Oscar?), or daring to sing, and not bad at it, either, in Begin Again (2013).
Keira’s devolution is her evolution. The more she relaxes and gives up the British stiff-upper-lip, the better her chances for blossoming out of the compost into something complicated and worth watching on the screen. With strong scripts, she’s a contender.
What’s this? She’s starring and making her Broadway début at the Roundabout Theatre in October, 2015? I’d like to see that!
I read the 1867 French novel, Thérèse Raquin, by Émile Zola ages ago and remember little of the plot other than a love triangle instigates passion, betrayal, and murder. What made the story interesting was Zola’s Naturalistic experiment to apply the principles of Medieval Four Humors to characters. Like throwing dogs into a pit representing one of the four temperments to see what would happen, it’s an unhappy tale. Naturalistic stories usually are, are they not? I’m more familiar with American writers of Naturalism like two personal heroes, Stephen Crane and Jack London. Back to Keira. I’m happy to see she’s trying Broadway. However, if her character is melancholic, her lover Laurent is sanguine, her cousin/husband Camille is phlegmatic, and her aunt, the Madame is choleric, how grueling emotionally for Keira to play the title role. We’ve seen Keira Knightley play troubled, suicidal characters before–I wonder how she will adapt to the stage?
What do you think of Keira Knightley?
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