“A Scottish lord becomes convinced by a trio of witches that he will become the next King of Scotland, and his ambitious wife supports him in his plans of seizing power.” -IMDB
There’s a podcast that my mom recommended to me that’s cohosted by one of our favorite comedians and hosts, W Kamau Bell (speaking of, please go watch his amazing docu-series We Need to Talk About Cosby). The podcast is called Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period. And since a very young age, I’ve felt the same. I credit Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks with helping to raise me. Just look at their resumes in the 90s, they DOMINATED. And why? Because they cannot give a bad performance and because they both appear to be standup men.
So I may have been biased going into TTOM, but I still had some reservations. Coen brother(s) movies can be very hit or miss for me. At their best, they can be beautifully poetic and oftentimes laugh out loud hilarious. At others, they can feel pretentious and unwatchable. And beyond my hesitation over Joel Coen directing, any film that uses pure Shakespearean language can be very intimidating.
However, the artistic decisions made in this movie were all made in order to serve the language and bring to bring the words to their full, frothing, brooding, stormy, maddening effect. The sets were minimal, the lighting somber, the actors were allowed to move from barely audible whispers to terrifying, piercing shrieks. It feels like you’re watching an early 20th century horror, a la Shakespeare.
It is definitely an arthouse film. If those are not for you or if you refuse to sit through a two hour Shakespeare work, then you may want to skip this one. But if you are willing to give it a chance, I found it to, ironically, be one of the most original films of the past year.
Rating: 9 out 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also watch: The Lighthouse, or any of the Coen brothers’ or Shakespeare’s, so you’ve got quite a collection to choose from…
Streaming: Apple TV
With: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Alex Hassell
Directed By: Joel Coen