#REVIEW: “THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
With four Oscars on his mantlepiece, I was dying to see how Joel Coen would cinematically interpret Shakespeare without his brother Ethan by his side. Whereas I can see why Coen was drawn to adapt this classic tale with its intricate weaving of violence, double-crossings, revenge and power, movie versions of many of the Bard’s works are notoriously a hard sell to get butts in the theatres. THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH is a formidable accomplishment and is poised to buck this trend.
While the story of Macbeth is stripped down to appeal to the masses, its tale of attaining ultimate political power at any cost continues to be timeless. Denzel Washington and Coen’s real-life, triple Oscar-winning partner Frances McDormand lead a magnificent Supporting Cast to keep the audience enthralled and invested. Washington effectively portrays Macbeth, though I found it just a tad too contemporary and intentional in its Academy Award bid. McDormand is fiercely-driven and the screen sizzles every time she graces it. It is a landmark performance by an actress whose cinematic resume overflows with unforgettable performances. In supporting roles, Kathryn Hunter is hypnotic playing all three Witches and Brendan Gleeson, Corey Parker and Harry Melling offer exceptional interpretations. One can not fault anyone in the Cast, but they are not the sole reason why one should see THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH on a big screen (if they can) as this is one of the year’s most visually-audacious and compelling movies.
Filmed on a sound stage, this black and white motion picture is a masterpiece in tone and execution. Aided by the brilliant Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel (Inside Llewyn Davis), one cannot be more than transfixed and amazed. It is atmospherically foggy, epically streamlined and uniquely original. THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH will be studied for decades by cineastes exploring greatness in Cinematography and Set Design.
Premiering in select theatres on December 25, 2021. Global premiere Friday, January 14, 2022 on Apple TV+.