The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021)

Shakespeare has always been challenging. I remember reading Macbeth in college and enjoying it, but I have just a minor recollection of the content within it.

So when I heard about the new film adapting the play that would be shown on Apple TV +, I was intrigued. I was even more so when I heard that Denzel Washington was taking the role of Macbeth and that Frances McDormand playing one of the most manipulative and scheming characters in all of classic literature, Lady Macbeth.

The first aspect of the film that really stands out is the technical aspects. Shot in black and white, the settings and backgrounds are minimal. The limited background gives the movie a distinct theater feel, but still was designed to visually benefit each scene. Some individual shots are exquisitely lovely. I truly love the look of this movie.

It should go without saying, but Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are brilliant in their lead roles. The dialogue is heavy and difficult, of course, but these are two of the best actors of this generation, especially when presented with two of the richest and deepest characters in literature.

Directed by Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth is the most recent adaptation of the Shakespearian tale of murder and madness and one of the best.

4 stars

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