Macbeth's a gorgeous tale of sound and fury
Drama/113 minutes/Opens today
Valiant Scottish warrior Macbeth (Michael Fassbender) is tempted to higher ambitions when given mysterious prophecies by three witches. Aided and abetted by his scheming wife Lady Macbeth (Marion Cotillard), he conspires to murder King Duncan (David Thewlis) for his throne, but his downfall has serious consequences for Scotland - and his soul.
THIS is hands down the best Shakespearean movie I've ever seen.
If you avoid anything at the cinema labelled "Shakespeare" because it gives you bad dreams about O levels, this probably means nothing to you.
But if you're a literature geek, you'll thoroughly enjoy this.
Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past, 2014; Prometheus, 2012) is mesmerising as Macbeth, capturing his noble bravery and subsequent descent into tyranny perfectly.
It's a role he was born to play. He cuts a magnificent figure as both a battlefield hero and a maniacal king demanding the deaths of innocent children.
Cotillard (The Dark Knight Rises, 2012; Inception, 2010) makes a wonderful Lady Macbeth. She's portrayed more as a woman haunted by a tragic past than a psycho femme fatale, but that only makes her more endearing.
I loved how the film includes just enough Shakespearean dialogue for that authentic Elizabethan flavour but cuts out more obscure references to speed the plot along.
The battle scenes are brutal, really bringing the story to life. Heads roll, people get impaled and the full force of "sound and fury" is unleashed when swords clash.
Macbeth isn't exactly the stuff of date movies, unless you and your significant other like to chat about how to plan your next murder together.
But it's gorgeously shot and very compelling.
THE NEW PAPER