Keira Knightley's 2008 - KeiraWeb's Review of the Year


2008 cemented Keira Knightley as one of the great emerging talents of this century. With plaudits that started with Pride & Prejudice, her role in Atonement was to secure much more attention, reflected in the fluorish of nominations during awards season. At the same time, the year saw less of Keira publicly than any year since the start of her rise to fame. With appearances only at premieres and promotional interviews, and only one film shoot late in the year, she appears to have succeeded in retrieving at least some of the privacy she has so publicly lost in the five years of her meteoric shoot to stardom. Both The Duchess and The Edge Of Love received much critical acclaim for Keira in two very different performances. Professionally, 2009 will bring the filming of her first major Shakespearian role, plus a biopic and possibly her first musical. Her continual varied choice of genres and roles will ensure ever-increasing attention from new fans and critics alike.


- The year started well for Keira with her first ever BAFTA nomination: Best Actress for Atonement.
- Julie Christie beat Keira to the Best Actress award at a toned down Golden Globes, although Atonement did win Best Film: Drama.
- Keira won Favorite Female Action star for Pirates At Worlds End  at the People's Choice Awards.
- Atonement honours continued to pour in in the second half of the month, with seven Academy Award nominations, and a Best Actress nomination for Keira from the Evening Standard Film Awards, plus six other nominations for film and cast. At the inaugural Richard Attenborough Awards, Atonement won four of its six nominations.


- Keira receives her seventh consecutive nomination at the Empire Film Awards, again for Best Actress for Atonement.
- She returns to the pages of Vanity Fair in a Hitchcock-themed photoshoot. She appears with her Jacket co-star Jennifer Jason-Leigh in a scene from Rebecca.
- Atonement wins Best Film at the BAFTAs in London, although Marion Cotillard's Edith Piaf beats Keira's Cecilia Tallis to the Best Actress award.
- Just two days later, Keira attends the Elle Style Awards where she does win Best Actress!
- At the Academy Awards, Atonement wins Best Score for Dario Marionelli. Keira did not attend, although the film was represented by Saoirse Ronan and James McAvoy.


- One of several green dresses worn by Keira in the dinner party scene of Atonement goes for $46,000 at an eBay charity auction.
- The first images and stories appear confirming that Keira will sing her own songs in the forthcoming Edge Of Love. Speculation that she will follow Scarlett Johansson into releasing an album soon follow.
- At the eighth attempt Keira triumphs at the Empire Film Awards, scooping Best Actress for Atonement. She did not attend but sent a pre-recorded thank-you message.
- Silk won four Jutra awards, celebrating French-Canadian cinema, while Keira wins a Rembrandt Best Actress award for Pirates At Worlds End, voted for by Dutch moviegoers.
- Pirates At Worlds End receives numerous nominations at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, including Best Actress for Keira.


- The UK press gets into gear for The Edge Of Love, with photos and interviews starting to appear. On the 9th it was announced the movie will open the Edinburgh Film Festival on June 18th, surprising many who expected it to launch at Venice or Cannes. Meanwhile, director John Maybury denies rumours Keira has been cast in a future project of his, Wuthering Heights.
- It's silly season for polls and surveys, with Keira charting in many of them: Tatler's Best Dressed List; Who Students Want To Be (Keira was fourth); Look Magazine Top Fashion Role Model (8th); Glamour Magazine Britain's Best Dressed Woman (9th); Independent Critics 100 Most Beautiful Faces (7th); xRank Favorite New Idol (1st); FHM Sexiest Women (10th).


- Keira reportedly moves house, explaining her disappearance from the paparazzi's gaze over the last six weeks. Meanwhile, interviews with Keira and other Edge Of Love cast and crew start to appear, plus many related Dylan Thomas articles and South Wales travel features.
- MTV provide Keira with her fourth nomination in their annual Movie Awards, with a Best Actres nod for Pirates At Worlds End.
- On the 19th, it was announced that Keira will play Cordelia in a rare big-screen adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear. Sir Anthony Hopkins is already confirmed as her father the king, with Gwyneth Paltrow announced as her sister Goneril. Casting of the third sister Regan is subsequently announced as being won by Naomi Watts. Joshua Michael Stern will direct the $35m epic.


- The official web site for The Duchess goes online complete with trailer. The tagline "There were three people in her marriage" start obvious comparisons with Princess Diana's very words in a 1995 interview. Georgiana was a distant relative of Diana, and the marketing people obviously thought it a good idea to draw parallels, particularly with her being a trend-setter and hounded by the media.
- Despite two years of on-off rumours, Variety reports on the 6th that Keira is indeed in negotiations to play Eliza Dolittle in a more faithful adaptation of My Fair Lady than the 1964 classic, drawing more on the original George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion. Sir Cameron Mackintosh and Duncan Kenworthy are to co-produce, with Emma Thompson reportedly honing the script.
- Keira rises to No.37 on Forbes Power List, from last year's 71.
- Keira and Sienna attend the world premiere of The Edge Of Love at the Edinburgh Film Festival, with its author (and Keira's mother) Sharman Macdonald and director John Maybury in attendance. A low-key London premiere takes place in Mayfair the next day.
- In a TV interview with Richard & Judy, Keira denies she has signed on for My Fair Lady and Keira's agent tells KeiraWeb that the project is "still in its very early stages".
- Despite showing at a select number of cinemas across London only, The Edge Of Love enters the UK box office chart at No.9, taking £181,000.


- Plenty of press and positive reviews for Keira's role in The Duchess appear throughout July, including the story that Keira has refused digital enhancement of her bosom for the promotional artwork! Vogue, Tatler and Glamour will feature Keira spreads in the run-up to the UK premiere of The Duchess on September 3rd.
- More poll fodder emerges: Sanex Ultimate Natural Beauty (Keira is 2nd); AntiBloat Sexiest Tums (2nd); BlistEx Best Pout (1st!).
- Keira and Rupert take a break in Indonesia.


- Another Best Actress win for Keira's Cecilia comes in the form of a surfboard from the Teen Choice Awards. She's never attended the TCAs despite winning seven of ten nominations in the last four years.
- KeiraWeb's up-to-date biography of Keira is published at the mighty IMDb.
- With Keira the title role in The Duchess, the end of the month sees an almost endless round of TV and print interviews.


- Keira attends the UK premiere of The Duchess in London on the 3rd, then flies to Toronto for a Film Festival premiere and press conference. She then heads to the US where talk show appearances on Regis & Kelly, Conan O'Brien, AMC Shootout and David Letterman lead up to the US premiere in New York on the 10th.
- The Duchess tops the UK box office in its debut week, taking £2.29m - £600,000 more than did Atonement in the same week and on the same number of screens. In its US debut on just seven screens it tallies over $200,000, nearly $30,000 per screen.
- Two new-movie rumours emerge mid-month: Keira and Orlando Bloom to star in a remake of Saturday Night Fever, and Keira to star in a tale of adultery called Last Night. Mercifully, the latter becomes confirmed on the 18th.
- The Hollywood Reporter announce that Keira is in talks to play Zelda Sayre, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald in a biopic of their tumultous life together. There is no subsequent confirmation of this story until KeiraWeb notices the artwork on the production company's web site in November, apparently confirming the role.
- On the 25th Disney announce work on a fourth installment of Pirates of the Caribbean. Keira had already announced she would not be involved.


- The Duchess continues to perform strongly at the UK and US box offices, with Australia continuing the trend. It will be shown at the Rome Film Festival, although Keira will not attend.
- Mid-month, Keira begins shooting exterior scenes for Last Night on the streets of New York City. Despite a closed set, many pap snaps emerge over the following weeks.
- Keira receives her first Best Actress nomination from the British Independent Film Awards on the 28th, and the first for her role in The Duchess. She won the Variety-sponsored Personality of the Year Award at the 2005 BIFAs.


- The People's Choice Awards nominations provide Keira with her second Best Actress nod for The Duchess. The film is also up for Favorite Indie Movie.
- Keira and Sienna Miller attend the BIFAs, spending much of the time in front of the cameras holding hands. It's all she does hold, however, as she loses out to Vera Farmiga for the Best Actress award.
- Last Night goes into post-production.


- Keira tops the UK entries on Forbes' Young Rich List, with an apparent £22m fortune, figures Keira always laughs off.
- She is No.8 on the IMDb's StarMeter poll of Under-25s' most-visited filmogrpahies during the year.
- Resurgent rumours circulate regarding Emma Watson replacing Keira as the face of Chanel's fragrance Coco Mademoiselle. KeiraWeb enquiries to Chanel settle the matter - it's nonsense.
- A placard-waving image of Keira appears on the 10th, the sixtieth anniversary of the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Keira is among many celebrities to have contributed video or narratives to 22 films by amateur filmmakers calling on the true meaning of 'human rights' to be acknowledged. She said: "I wanted to be part of this film for Amnesty to help raise awareness of the UDHR and to help them, in a small way, to campaign against the abuses of human rights that are still happening every day. It seems that 'human rights' has become a bit of a loaded term in this country, but if you look at the declaration that countries made 60 years ago, it just sets out a series of basic rules about how people should treat each other. The UDHR is something that every one should be aware of and be proud of as a statement of our common humanity."
- Despite rave reviews for her role as Georgiana, the end of the year does not replicate the nomination-laden start to 2008 for Keira. In a strong year for great female performances (Melissa Leo, Kate Winslet, Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Angelina Jolie), Keira does not make the shortlist at The Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, SAGs or London Critics' Circle Awards.
- The Duchess bows out of US cinemas with an impressive $13.8m.

BAFTAs, London


Elle Style Awards, London
With Best Actress award


The Edge Of Love world premiere, Edinburgh
With co-star Sienna Miller


The Edge Of Love promotional still
As Vera Phillips


The Duchess UK premiere, London


The Duchess press conference, Toronto


The Duchess US gala screening, New York


The Duchess promotional still
As Georgiana Spencer


Last Night on-set paparazzi snap, New York
As Joanna Reed, with Lucy the dog


© Paul Fisher 2008
Unauthorised reproduction prohibited.
Pictures courtesy

Review of the Year 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007
Return to KeiraWeb homepage