Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Feature
Five For The Diary: Books To Read Before Oscar Season
Prepare yourself for this year’s awards contenders

submit to reddit

It’s time to face it: summer is nearly over and autumn is on its way. But never fear! It’s not just a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness; it’s also a season of movies and major filmmaking. The Oscar contenders will soon be hitting screens, so it’s time to prepare yourself to dazzle your friends with in-depth knowledge of the likely nominees, and pepper your conversation with phrases like, “Well, it’s no Tolstoy,” or “I preferred the novel, actually”. Read on and get ready…

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
1 2 3 4 5
  1 of 5 Next
Five For The Diary: Books To Read Before Oscar Season | 1. Anna Karenina
1. Anna Karenina

THE BOOK Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
THE FILM Anna Karenina, directed by Joe Wright

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Leo Tolstoy considered this his best novel (he didn’t actually consider War And Peace a novel. Presumably, like most of the world, he considered it more of a brick) – and he may well be right. The story of an aristocratic noblewoman who throws it all away for love, it’s more a psychodrama than a romance, more a tiny disaster movie than a soppy melodrama. As in War And Peace, a character – Levin – representing Tolstoy himself takes time out to talk about farming amid the action, which may be of less than huge interest to modern folk unconcerned with 19th century advances in agriculture, but even he has his own story to contrast to Anna Karenina’s bad romance. In other words, there’s less farming than War And Peace, which is basically The Archers with Napoleon in it, and more swanning off to France for a shag. The result is a book that’s rich, layered and intensely human.

It’s been adapted for the screen before, of course, but this year sees Anna Karenina brought to the screen in a beautifully weird theatre-based format, with Keira Knightley as the society star, Jude Law as her noble husband, Matthew Macfadyen as her brother, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as her impulsive suitor and Domnhall Gleeson as Levin. The film’s more gorgeous than a Fabergé egg, and the book is a tragic masterpiece, Tolstoy painting all his characters as fully rounded, fatally flawed people.

DO SAY “If Dostoyevsky declared it a flawless work of art that’s good enough for me.”
DON'T SAY “I’m more of an Anastasia Steele person myself”

1 2 3 4 5
 
1 of 5
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1
I'm not usually one to complain about these features, but no Cloud Atlas? More

Posted by AxlReznor on Monday October 1, 2012, 17:09

2 Quick Correction
Sal Paradise was Kerouac's alter ego in On the Road, Dean Moriarty was based upon his friend Neal Cassady. Although, you'll be pleased to hear that Burroughs and Ginsberg also have literary equivalents in the novel and I'm guessing, film. All three at once! More

Posted by Roll on Monday October 1, 2012, 15:02

3 No Maguire in Life of Pi
I was sure I read somewhere that Tobey Maguire was cut out of Life of Pi and replaced with Rafe Spall because Magure was too famous or something. Shame... More

Posted by Mclovin94 on Monday October 1, 2012, 11:06

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Hateful Eight - The Story So Far
We delve into the short but tangled history of Quentin Tarantino’s latest

Gallery: Unseen Star Wars Poster Concept Artwork
JW Rinzler takes us through a history of the franchise in jaw-dropping art

The Future Of Film: Lasers Will Save 3D (If Your Cinema Is Big Enough)
Big will be beautiful in the brave new world of frickin' laser beam projection

The Bond Girls Who Made It Big
The actresses who overcame the curse of 007 to forge successful careers

The Future Of Film: A Woman Will Direct Star Wars
No longer a men’s club, Hollywood is going to start opening its doors...

The Empire Podcast #130: Interviews With Rosamund Pike, Lee Child And Antoine Fuqua
The Gone Girl star, Jack Reacher author and The Equalizer director pop in for a chat

The 50 Greatest Voice Performances In Movies
Who has the most talented tonsils in town?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)