Ralph Fiennes’ CORIOLANUS (UK)

Thursday (10/13), 8:00pm

Lo, by what feat of contrivance came this picture to us? Though Ralph Fiennes produced, directed, and stars in the film, “vanity project” is not quite the phrase to describe CORIOLANUS, as a vain man would not willingly debase himself in this manner, covered in his own blood and spittle, eyes wild with rage, and then placed so damn close to the camera’s lens. Nay, this is a Voldemort Project. Fiennes’ penchant for terrifying children is put to use here as an increasingly-crazed general of a fictitious Roman-esque nation. Banished for his disdain of the common people, he returns as the de facto leader of an invading army in a single-minded quest for revenge. Like Kenneth Branagh, Baz Luhrmann and Julie Taymor before, Fiennes manages to make of a modernized Shakespeare play not exactly a good movie, but a curious one. A film in which television news anchors speak in iambic pentameter and Gerard Butler changes accents mid-sentence, his tongue stumbling over antique phrasings. Ignoring for a moment the clear camp factor, Fiennes’ directorial decisions continually surprise: his eye for shot composition is well-developed. Should he be so lucky as to direct another feature, we can only hope that film will follow in CORIOLANUS’ mad footsteps. (2011, 122m) – Douglas McLaren


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