The Tragedy of Macbeth: the new movie that’s a serious contender for the Oscars
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand recreate William Shakespeare’s iconic play in this streaming story.
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are protagonists.
Since the mid-1980s, brothers Joel and Ethan Coen have worked together in films such as Gangster Story, Barton Fink, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, This Country Is Not for Old Men, Destroying After Reading or About Llewyn Davis.
This time around, Joel Coen decided to move on to a solo project – simply because it wasn’t something his brother was interested in. Coen has decided to adapt William Shakespeare’s legendary play ‘The Tragedy of Macbeth’ for a film which premiered in Portugal this Friday 14 January. It is available on the Apple TV+ streaming platform.
The idea came about a few years ago when Frances McDormand, actress and wife of Joel Coen, was set to star in the play. McDormand suggested that her husband be in charge of the restaging. Joel Coen said it would only make sense if it was made into a film.
The play premiered without Coen in 2016, but the idea of making a film based on the story stuck in the mind of the filmmaker – who had never really been a Shakespearean scholar. Of course, Frances McDormand became Lady MacBeth. And Denzel Washington was chosen as MacBeth.
The big difference to the original text has to do with the age of the protagonists, in addition to the adapted language. Here, at the center of the plot, is a couple in their sixties with no heirs. With them they carry all the weight and dimension that entails, even if they don’t have the characteristic ambition of youth.
Filmed in black and white, it is cinema with great theatrical charge. As impressive as the sets built by Stefan Dechant are, they are obviously fake. and the place of excellence where these scenes can unfold.
The story takes place in medieval Scotland. Banquo and the Lord of Glamis meet three witches on their way back from the battlefield. Witches prophesy that Macbeth will one day be king of Scotland. But before that, you will be the lord in charge of Cawdor. If that part comes into play, Macbeth must be thinking that what those witches were telling him might have some basis.
Lady Macbeth persuades him to fight for the throne. And there’s a creepy trail of bodies along the way. The cast also includes names such as Brendan Gleeson, Stephen Root, Alex Hassell, Bertie Carvel, Corey Hawkins and Harry Melling, among others.
The Tragedy of Macbeth is a serious contender for this year’s Oscars. The nominees will be announced on February 8th, with the awards ceremony scheduled for March 27th. The film could be one of the main favorites for categories like Best Actor and Best Cinematography, or even Best Film and Best Director.
Click through the gallery to see other top contenders for this year’s Oscars.