The Tragedy of Macbeth Review

Politics and the want for power go hand in hand. Some people achieve this via hard work and making connections with those who can help you climb the ladder. Others cross moral and legal boundaries, and may even be willing to spill some blood along the way.

The Tragedy of Macbeth was released at the end of last December. An adaptation of the William Shakespeare play Macbeth, the film stars Denzel Washington in the starring role and Frances McDormand as his wife, Lady Macbeth. Returning from battle as a respected warrior, Macbeth wants one thing: to wear the crown. The first person in his way is his cousin and King, Duncan (Brendan Gleeson). Conspiring with his wife, they conceive a plan to remove all obstacles that stand in their way.

This movie is so good. Filmed in stark black and white with geometric shapes, the narrative is stripped down to its most basic premise. The chemistry is fantastic between the lead actors. I truly believed that Washington and McDormand were a married couple who are completely in sync with one another. The feeling that something otherwordly had a hand in the fate of these people was potent from the opening shot until the credits rolled.

We keep going back to Shakespeare’s work because it is timeless, universal, and thoroughly human. The Tragedy of Macbeth is just another reminder of why we return to his narratives again and again.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

The Tragedy of Macbeth is presently in theaters and is available for streaming on AppleTV+

Flashback Friday-Fargo (1996)

The game of cat and mouse between the police and those committing a crime has been a standard narrative for years. The question is, how can a writer or writers make their narrative unique and different?

In the 1996 movie, Fargo,  Jerry Lundergaard (William H. Macy) has got himself into a financial pickle. He has embezzled money through his father-in-law’s car dealership. About to be caught by his father-in-law, Jerry cooks up a scheme to have  his wife kidnapped so her father will pay the ransom. The kidnapping does not go as planned. This catches the eye of Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), a pregnant sheriff who is determined to figure out who is responsible for the three murders in her jurisdiction.

What I like about this movie is that there is an almost sick sense of humor. Unlike other cops and criminals stories which are often just a little serious, this film has an undercurrent of humor that makes it stand out within the genre.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

Flashback Friday-Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008)

Sometimes, when life throws us a curve-ball, we can only think quickly and hope for the best.

In Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day (2008) Guinevere Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) is a middle-aged governess who has just lost another job. The agency who has found her work in the past is not so quick to find her a new position. With no other way out, she steals the information of a new client and presents herself as the new social secretary for Delysia Lafosse (Amy Adams), an actress and nightclub performer. Delysia is juggling three men: Nick (Mark Strong), the owner of a night club, Michael (Lee Pace), who plays piano for Delysia and is ready to marry her at a moments notice and Phil (Tom Payne), a young theater producer who is eager to cast her in his newest production.

While juggling all of that, Guinevere has caught the eye of Joe (Ciarán Hinds), a fashion designer. Will Delysia choose from one of her three boyfriends and will Miss Pettigrew be unmasked for whom she truly is?

Set during World War II, this film is the perfect modern screwball comedy that was a staple of the movie going experience in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Amy Adams channels Marilyn Monroe as a goodhearted, but not all there actress who does not know what she wants. And of course, there a couple of 1990’s Austen leading men, which always makes a film that much better.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

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