Is that a dagger I see before me? Yes, yes it is.
Cinema Nova - Tuesday 3 November 2015, 1:55pm
Running time: 113m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: MA15+ (Strong violence)
Release date: 01/10/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 6/10 (ME 3/5, DP 3/5)
Deep in the heart of Westeross, a fierce battle is underway to conquer the iron throne from the evil rule of... huh?... this isn't Game of Thrones? There's excessive gore, a slow storyline, mysterious witches, patchy acting and children being burnt at the stake, so don't blame us for being confused.
Based on the play by William Shakespeare (oh, I do like his stuff, but I wish he'd write something a bit more modern) Macbeth (2015) is the latest though not most successful film adaptation of 'the Scottish play'. Michael Fassbender is suitably disturbed (and grotty) as the title character, though if you didn't know the storyline (welcome to Earth; please enjoy your stay) there's no surprise that it's all going to end very badly for him. Marion Cotillard (who we love, by the way) goes through the motions in a solid and competent though soulless performance as Lady Macbeth.
The film's visual styling is stunning and the witches are suitably creepy (the inclusion of a child witch was a nice touch) but the well-choreographed gore and slow-motion droplets of blood flying off daggers was just a little clichéd. The harsh Scottish landscape is filmed beautifully and colour (particularly in the film's climax) is used to great effect, as is the balance between silence and sound to build the tension. There's some premature 'buzz' around Oscar nominations, but it's more likely to attract attention for production features rather than performances. (ME)