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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

MacBeth (2015)

On his way home after victory in the decisive battle of Scotland's civil war, MacBeth (Michael Fassbender) is told by the "weird sisters" that he will be the future King of Scotland. His ambitious wife (Marion Cotillard) urges him to the throne by suggesting he murder the current King (David Thewlis). Justin Kurzel's freely adapted film of Shakespeare's Scottish play is a stripped down MACBETH. While Kurzel makes a few cinematic concessions, this is a fairly straightforward rendering whose strengths are based on the actors' performances. Fassbender (who's having a good year with this and STEVE JOBS) gives us a forceful MacBeth but it's Marion Cotillard who gives us a slightly different spin on Lady MacBeth. Cotillard doesn't give us the usual scheming hellion but a more layered human being. With enough humanity in her that one can see why she goes off the deep end from guilt. The production as a whole is weighty but I appreciate Kurzel's audacity and his confident direction even though some of the beauty of Shakespeare's dialog is sacrificed. With Paddy Considine, Sean Harris and Jack Reynor.

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