Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sunday Similar Standards: Keira Knightley

Welcome to a semi-regular weekly feature here at Movies with Abe. On those weeks where reviews are sparse, I’ll be taking a look at an actor or actress whose body of work boasts many roles that may not be as diverse as those taken on by other actors or actresses. This is hardly a judgment on their abilities; rather an analysis of the kind of parts they play so well.

Keira Knightley

This beautiful British actress is just twenty-seven years old, yet she’s been acting in popular American and British films for the past decade. She’s best known for portraying spirited women trapped in their own skin for some reason or another, yearning to break free of the confines of their status or time. Her characters are also likely to be both witty and charming.

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999): This one is more of a joke since Knightley actually played a decoy for lookalike actress Natalie Portman’s character Queen Amidala.

Bend It Like Beckham (2003): In a more youthful role, Knightley was an energetic football (soccer) player determined not to let her gender keep her from her passion.

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003): In this period action comedy and its sequels, Knightley played a governor’s daughter not content to let her stature as a lady keep her from fighting pirates and defending herself and her honor when necessary.

Love Actually (2003): A small role in a large ensemble found Knightley caught between two best friends vying for her affection in a cute and endearing role.

King Arthur (2004): In this retelling of a classic story, Knightley had the role of Guinevere, a female warrior not afraid to fight alongside men.

The Jacket (2005): Knightley was a glimmer of hope for Adrien Brody’s time-traveling distressed veteran, a young girl who represented the actualization of his actions.

Pride & Prejudice (2005): Knightley scored an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of the free-spirited Elizabeth Bennet in this adaptation of Jane Austen’s famous novel.

Atonement (2007): Knightley was the melancholy female figure of this story of a doomed forbidden romance, yearning for the love she was bound to be denied.

The Duchess (2008): Knightley got regal as the strong-willed Georgiana, the duchess of Devonshire, in this lavishly-decorated period piece.

Never Let Me Go (2010): Knightley was curious and energetic as a young woman engineered specifically for the purposes of saving someone else’s life.

Last Night (2011): Knightley portrayed a woman in an unhappy marriage contemplating an affair in this dark and moody drama.

London Boulevard (2011): Knightley retreated from society to play an eccentric actress with a distaste for interaction with people.

A Dangerous Method (2011): Knightley put on an accent to play a troubled patient of Carl Jung’s with a passion of her own for psychoanalysis.

Anything different?

Not so much.

What’s next?

The title role in another period drama, “Anna Karenina.”

The verdict?

She plays troubled young women with strong passions because she’s good at it, and at this point, she’s still hot in both her native country and here in the United States, so she’s sure to have many great roles into her 30s and beyond.

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