Review: Washington’s aging Macbeth is one for the ages – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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His hair is gray. His nerves are frayed. Macbeth of Denzel Washington is a man who literally runs out of time — even before he meets those witches.

At the age of 66, Washington is certainly at the oldest possible end of Macbeth’s spectrum. But that makes great sense.Joel Coen’s brilliantly imagined and brilliantly executed “Tragedy of Macbeth” We confront the man who knows in his bones, the aching bones, that the witch’s prophecy gave him the last chance to be worth it! King of Scotland.

Macbeth is frankly correct at any age for actors in Washington’s unique skill set, not to mention the facilities with Shakespeare’s poetry. But with all the experience and seasonings Washington has now brought, the fact that it took so long is wonderful. Still, this is not just a matter of the actor playing the role at the right time.

No matter how cursed the so-called “Scottish theater” is in theater folklore, if you’re unlucky, the stars seem to line up here. First, as movie star Lady Macbeth, Frances McDormand is Washington’s perfect partner in age (64) and everything else, with her distinctive awakening urgency and legendary ice. Gaze like that is often added to the role of caricature. And boy, do these two look right together? As someone said, it may be true that Macbeth has the only good marriage in Shakespeare, but the bar isn’t expensive. (The Romeo and Juliet of these teenagers were very short.)

Completing the dream trio is directed by Cohen (the first solo outing without McDormand’s husband, the Ethan brothers), creating a rigorous, calm yet gorgeous and stylish film world. It is a black-and-white and gray world full of fog, shadows and fog. Half is reality and half is the vision of chiaroscuro, which looks like an illusion.

The designer Stephen Deschamps’ set built on the sound stage has Brutalist-type structures, high walls, long corridors, high stairs, and dirt paths outside. The important feeling is emptiness. With the exception of the sword, few props seem to be doing their malicious work. It feels vaguely medieval, but it has nothing to do with a particular period — and thankfully it’s not even 2021. Most surprisingly, Coen and the talented cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel refer to the literally boxed film as an Academy Ratio square frame.

Befitting the shortest tragedy of the bard (despite the long list of murders being the most foul), Cohen’s films time in less than two hours. Naturally, we start with three witches. The ominous line is “Fair is a foul, foul is a fair”. In other words, everything is different from what it looks like, and the Shakespeare ratio is understated. In a great creative decision, Cohen gives us the only actor, the great veteran Kathryn Hunter, as an acrobat who transforms freely into three identical figures.

This image, released by A24, shows Denzel Washington, left, Frances McDormand in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”. (A24 via AP)

Despite some wise cuts, the language is preserved and the story is of course the same: after the witch prophesies that Macbeth will be king, he decides driven by his wife’s harsh love urge (then). , You were a man. “) Accelerate the process by killing the beloved King Duncan (Brendan Gleeson, excellent).

Macbeth of Washington, who often speaks in a gentle voice, lacks determination in advance, even whispering. But if we fail, he asks. “Do we fail?” His wife replies, but in McDormand’s reading, it’s essentially “Look at us, what on earth do we need to lose?” (Don’t answer that, everyone.)

Then the blood cycle begins. This “Macbeth”, as always, is about the corrosive effects of politics, power, and ambition. But it’s not about sociopaths. It feels more mediocre than monsters, and more about the despair it brings.

There are many acting talents here besides Reed. Corey Hawkins stands out in almost everything he does, as a noble McDuff who has the distinction of killing Macbeth when he informs him that he has been “prematurely torn” from his mother’s womb. (This sword fight is not disappointing) — Very bad news for Macbeth. As McDuff’s fateful wife, Moses Ingram makes many of her one scenes.

Washington (Washpeare) who played Shakespeare many times on stage Appears on the screen in 1993 ) Recently, he said, “Where I started and where I want to end.” As a student at Fordham University, he played Othello, a role prepared by listening to Laurence Olivier’s recordings at the library.

When he talks about finishing, I hope he doesn’t mention it right away. After all, King Leah is waiting – well, Mr. Washington?

But as for his McDormand, perhaps the most often mentioned when asked about playing that role recently was McDormand. “You don’t make a list of Macbeth generations,” she said. “One is born, then they play it.”

I think it’s correct.

A24 / Apple’s release, “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” has been rated R as “violence” by the American Film Institute. Execution time: 105 minutes. 4 out of 4 stars.

Review: Washington’s aging Macbeth is one for the ages – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel Source link Review: Washington’s aging Macbeth is one for the ages – Los Angeles Sentinel | Los Angeles Sentinel

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