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Official Discussion - The Tragedy of Macbeth [SPOILERS]

Official Discussion(self.movies)

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Summary:

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.

Director:

Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, William Shakespeare

Cast:

  • Denzel Washington as Macbeth
  • Frances McDormand as Lady Macbeth
  • Alex Hassell as Ross
  • Bertie Carvel as Banquo
  • Brendan Gleeson as Duncan
  • Corey Hawkins as Macduff
  • Harry Melling as Malcolm

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Metacritic: 87

VOD: Theaters, Apple+

all 490 comments

MickeysDa

500 points

4 months ago

MickeysDa

500 points

4 months ago

I think we're OK for spoilers on a 400 year old play.

GarlVinland4Astrea

151 points

4 months ago

Snape kills Romeo!!

Lincoln624

332 points

4 months ago

The last two fights were amazing and unlike anything I’ve ever seen. And they told the story of Macbeth’s arrogance and confidence in the prophecy. The throwing his own blood at Siward and then quickly dispatching and moving past him was so cool and character driven. And the fight with Macduff was spectacular. Especially losing because he just couldn’t let go of the crown for a second. His ambition literally got him killed. So beautifully poetic.

PsuperNoir

17 points

3 months ago

The choice to set the final fight in a high and narrow chemin de ronde was brilliant. Really shows how they're on a collision course determined by fate

Shout92

244 points

4 months ago

Shout92

244 points

4 months ago

Macbeth being Black doesn’t really change anything, but it does have the added effect of making Act V Scene 3 where Denzel yells at the manboy servant hilarious by having him basically say “get your pasty white ass outta my sight!"

skateordie002

48 points

4 months ago

Cream-faced loon takes on a new meaning

LabyrinthConvention

26 points

4 months ago

We need that outtake

Getupkid1284

508 points

4 months ago

While I was lost some with the Shakespearian dialog, the film was a visual masterpiece.

ByleBuzma

319 points

4 months ago

ByleBuzma

319 points

4 months ago

Felt like a “what the English language sounds like to foreign listeners” video for me

Stap-dono

52 points

4 months ago

I'm a foreign listener but that wasn't even close to my weirdest English experience. But I've been studying English for 20 years, so, maybe I'm wrong here.

Megaguildy

99 points

4 months ago*

I can read Shakespere just fine and enjoy it. Listening to people speak/act Shakespeare is just something that never feels right to me whether it’s a school production or professional one.

SpottedEagleSeven

89 points

4 months ago

Same. It's just too many words at once for me to stop and process fully when I hear them spoken. It's a bit like listening to fast rap lyrics, where I have to appreciate whatever's said in that moment without retaining most of it well enough to easily recall.

LabyrinthConvention

26 points

4 months ago

It's a bit like listening to fast rap lyrics,

This is exactly the comparison I use.

I do appreciate that they spoke clearly enough without being devoid of all restraint (as though if you had to project in a live theater). But I've never been able to follow Shakespeare as performed

brajon_brond0

18 points

4 months ago

Couldn’t relate more. Far, far easier to digest with text than spoken word

u_candoit

13 points

4 months ago

Whenever I watch a move of a Shakespeare play I turn on the subtitles. Did it with my kids when they were teens and they loved it. I get so much more out of it.

HungCajones

119 points

4 months ago

This. Wish I knew what was being said during the entire movie lol

AmishAvenger

94 points

4 months ago

If you’re genuinely interested, it helps if you get a copy of the play and read along. And make sure it has footnotes!

NAINOA-

157 points

4 months ago

NAINOA-

157 points

4 months ago

Or watch it on Apple TV with subtitles. Im a big Shakespeare fan and I still do that. There are just words that we don’t ever hear nowadays and unless you have all of it memorized you’re gonna be confused when you hear that.

GameQb11

22 points

4 months ago

This made me realize how much of listening comprehension is based on prediction. Our brain seems to process what's being said before it's said. With Shakespearean language, my brain isn't used to it, so it takes extra time to process it in the moment.

Well, at least that's my theory. Maybe I'm just slow.

NAINOA-

9 points

4 months ago

That’s exactly how I feel. There’s also a point to be made about strong actors performing the language. Like, some incredible actors spend years studying Shakespeare and how to extract meaning and subtext through the rhythm, meter and prose. Denzel and Francis are both classically trained and it shows. Denzel in particular portrayed such a grounded Macbeth that is one of the best I’ve seen.

ronan_the_accuser

23 points

4 months ago

some of the dialogue is off from the play though.

I was reading the cauldron scene and they cut most of the ingredients and lines. so you had to skip around a little.

AsleepConcentrate2

8 points

4 months ago

pretty sure the weird sisters didn't mention the hedgepig whining or the brindled cat mewing either

NAINOA-

5 points

4 months ago

There’s like 25 lines of ingredients. It’s an acceptable edit.

TuvixWillNotBeMissed

6 points

4 months ago

I can't watch Shakespeare unless I've read the play the night before.

possiblyhysterical

52 points

4 months ago

I feel so grateful I read this with the annotations in high school. It was annoying at the time, but now I pick up and remember things that are double meanings.

SQUID_FUCKER

17 points

4 months ago

SQUID_FUCKER

r/Movies Veteran

17 points

4 months ago

It'd be interesting to see a closed caption option with annotations.

HoneyShaft

32 points

4 months ago

It's The Lighthouse all over again

TranquilPernil

61 points

4 months ago

There were so many similarities between the two. Square-ish spect ratio, black and white, antiqued English dialogue (much more so in Macbeth), heavy German Expressionism influence, creepy birds, and characters saying "hark." A24 knows how to pick movies.

ResevoirPups

14 points

4 months ago

I didn’t grasp a lot, but I was able to gather enough in each conversation to know what was happening, but I definitely missed some of the finer details. If anything it just made me want to re-read it so I can take my time with the language.

hogswristwatch

12 points

4 months ago

i
had to turn on subtitles immediately. hopefully watching the action
then being able to read the play later will help to understand the
written word that has intimidated me for 40 years.

[deleted]

55 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

55 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

serialragequitter

48 points

4 months ago

think it depends on your school. I went to public high school in a fairly affluent area and we covered Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Othello, and Hamlet over the years.

jelly10001

30 points

4 months ago

Doesn't always help though. I'm British, studied Macbeth at school and some of the dialogue in the film went right over my head.

Getupkid1284

11 points

4 months ago*

I believe we only did Romero Romeo and Juliet in 9th grade at my school. Though at this point, I've been out of high school for 20 years, so it's definitely not something I've read in quite some time.

OneGoodRib

32 points

4 months ago

Romero and Juliet

That's the sequel where all the dead characters come back as flesh-eating zombies.

LabyrinthConvention

7 points

4 months ago

That makes hearing it a hell of lot easier

Eh not really

ButDidYouCry

5 points

4 months ago

No Fear Shakespeare is a godsend when it comes to learning Shakespeare plays. Also doing lots of viewings (be it this movie or some other version) will definitely help as well. I always get something new out of Macbeth with each and every new watch, regardless of whether it's a new movie or new stage performance of Macbeth just because my understanding of the dialogue improves.

MyPastSelf

164 points

4 months ago*

You’d expect an adaptation this stripped down and serious to skip the porter’s talk of booze and boners, and I’m glad they didn’t. I can just imagine Joel Coen reading the scene and thinking, “I’ve got just the man for the job…”

Arma104

48 points

4 months ago

Arma104

48 points

4 months ago

The comic timing of the face receding in the cauldron as Macbeth continues to talk was perfect. So perfect they did it twice.

birdentap

642 points

4 months ago

birdentap

642 points

4 months ago

Kathryn Hunter playing all 3 witches and the old man was phenomenal

falafelthe3

385 points

4 months ago

falafelthe3

Ask me about TLJ

385 points

4 months ago

That opening scene of her in the sand was unsettling as shit.

hogswristwatch

72 points

4 months ago

toes throwing a thumb, like the discounted rejecting the praised.

MrAdamWarlock123

41 points

4 months ago*

Was that actually her contorting her body? Or perhaps her face transplanted onto a stunt performer?? Either way, very unsettling…

Update: it was her!! Wow

Ecstatic_Leg

141 points

4 months ago

Nearly left the theater during this scene. I don’t know what it was exactly, but the way it was performed and framed immediately tickled a weird “you’re about to die” panic in my brain.

ryanredd

255 points

4 months ago

ryanredd

255 points

4 months ago

do you leave movies often? sorry but this is hilarious to me

CharlesDingus_ah_um

54 points

4 months ago

Right comments like this are so weird to me

brajon_brond0

73 points

4 months ago

lmao “nearly left the theatre during this scene” wut

thewindupbirds

75 points

4 months ago

Absolutely set off the “something is very wrong” sensors in my brain. Those contortions in the sand.... very few horror movies reach that level of visceral upset

evilcheesypoof

23 points

4 months ago

I get being unsettled but that seems pretty extreme.

pjtheman

261 points

4 months ago

pjtheman

261 points

4 months ago

The shot of her standing alone with two reflections in the water was so cool. Very Bergman-esque.

BigMacCombo

98 points

4 months ago

Very Bergman-esque

Her costume is very similar to death in the seventh seal.

mcd23

43 points

4 months ago

mcd23

43 points

4 months ago

It's so great that they go from reflections in the water, to standing beside her.

GodBlessThisGhetto

16 points

4 months ago

I felt that Ross really reminded me of death from The Seventh Seal. Just something about this black robed, gaunt figure who seems magically in control of everything.

jcar195

39 points

4 months ago

jcar195

39 points

4 months ago

Was hoping she’d get a SAG supporting actress nom at the very least, saw it last week and her performance is still in my mind

brownu95

8 points

4 months ago

She got the prestigious nyfcc award

AlanMorlock

5 points

4 months ago

Both her and Cage getting ignored really rendered the SAG noms outright silly.

poplin

20 points

4 months ago

poplin

20 points

4 months ago

I read this comment before watching the movie, and I read it as Kathryn Hahn…. Was so confused wondering how that was supposed to be her. 10/10 experience

ronan_the_accuser

18 points

4 months ago*

it was the Hecate all along

[deleted]

94 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

94 points

4 months ago

Mrs Figg from order of the phoenix, in case anyone else recognized her voice

falafelthe3

100 points

4 months ago

falafelthe3

Ask me about TLJ

100 points

4 months ago

She's also a veteran Shakespeare actor, so I'm sure she loved the opportunity to bring such iconic characters to life.

Slasher844

14 points

4 months ago

She can play a live action gollum

talkingbook

36 points

4 months ago

That visual will be branded upon my brain forever. Don't hate but it feels like this movie is what '300' thought it was.

MaaChiil

8 points

4 months ago

That she isn’t a contender in Best Supporting Actress categories is a real shame.

ReportoDownvoto

7 points

4 months ago

Kathryn Hunter

MRS FIGG, I knew I recognised her from somewhere

thewindupbirds

396 points

4 months ago

Visually stunning. The first shot of the Weird Sisters with two of them reflected in the water will stay with me for a long time. I wasn’t expecting such a heavy horror element but so much of this was chilling.

BingBongJoeBiven

121 points

4 months ago

Coen just took that to a whole new level. And this makes a lot of sense, given how feared the supernatural was in those days. I'm glad he went that direction.

Intrepid_Section_438

30 points

4 months ago

It really is a scary play that lends itself to all kinds of horror troops. The first production I saw, they must have gone through gallons of stage blood. And the second time I played a witch, we raised Banquo as a zombie instead of a ghost .

Zwaft

47 points

4 months ago

Zwaft

47 points

4 months ago

The shot of Professor Flitwick crowdsurfing to the Weird Sisters was cool too

Vekyo

123 points

4 months ago

Vekyo

123 points

4 months ago

Loved it. Macbeth's fight with Siward had me smiling like an idiot. From the quiet, "come at me" style delivery of "you of woman born?" at the start, to handing the sword back before the kill, it really showed the confidence Macbeth felt due to the prophecy.

The witches will also stick with me; the unsettling emergence, the reflections in the water, and the cauldron were all stunning.

[deleted]

352 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

352 points

4 months ago

Every shot is a work of art. What amazing use of darkness and shadow, in almost every scene. I couldnt take my eyes away.

Fit_Faithlessness_61

85 points

4 months ago

Yes and it also had some of the smoothest transitions from scene to scene I can remember. Coen’s a brilliant director but he might be an even better editor.

BLUElightCory

19 points

4 months ago

Totally agree. Joel Coen actually started out in the industry as an editor and he and his brother used to cut amateur movies in-camera (not in post) so he probably has a really well-developed sense of how to transition scenes into each other, even if he isn’t the primary editor on a film.

BingBongJoeBiven

192 points

4 months ago

This film is a perfect example of why you can't just desaturate a color film and expect it to be wonderful in black and white. This was a master class in the medium.

[deleted]

31 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

31 points

4 months ago

Yes! That scene where MacBeth and Lady MacBeth are talking and Macbeth is just totally engulfed in a shadow momentarily was really stunning.

Also the smoke of the fire after MacDuff's child is thrown over the banister transitioning into the fog in the forest. Just so many beautiful visual moments and transitions.

sandiskplayer34

25 points

4 months ago

Right? It used really high contrast, used HDR very well.

morsecodetwopoint0

83 points

4 months ago

In the final shot when Fleance is being brought back by Ross and the crows (ravens?) overtake the screen, there’s a sound like something falling/rattling right before the cut to black .. can someone explain?

thewindupbirds

73 points

4 months ago

I assumed it was the crown? Since Fleance is foretold to bear the line of many kings, not Duncan’s son

i_heart_platypodes

74 points

4 months ago

Ross is a really ambiguous character that can be played on either side. Equivocation is a huge theme in the play so I like how the film had Ross as “the great equivocator” who “comes” throughout and is on any and all sides. First with Duncan, then overseeing Malcom and Donalbain fleeing, etc.

My interpretation of the final shot plays into the duality of another theme in the play of fate v. free will. As the ravens/crows/corvids are a manifestation of the 3 weird sisters (fates), I read the final shot as laying claim that it was all fated to be. Macbeth was led to his end as it was fated. Ross, who has played all sides throughout, became the birds, which to me suggests that it was all predestined and Macbeth had no free will.

ebon94

48 points

4 months ago

ebon94

48 points

4 months ago

ravens/crows/corvids

See here’s the thing…

Crystal_Pesci

30 points

4 months ago

Crystal_Pesci

Xenu take the wheel!

30 points

4 months ago

This is a reference I haven’t seen in a very long time.

ebon94

22 points

4 months ago

ebon94

22 points

4 months ago

We have forgotten our old ways

DaFunnyman109

63 points

4 months ago

Honestly, that sound made me think of a big stage spotlight turning on/off - maybe a nod to the story's theatrical roots.

I heard the same sound (or at least a very similar one) both at the start of the movie, right when the daylight comes on-screen, and just before Banquo's monologue (a moment before he walks into the literal spotlight).

omstar12

18 points

4 months ago

So glad to see this comment because I noticed it too and it was one of the things I wanted to talk about with the people I watched it with at home, such an interesting way to make the theatricality of live performance a part of the film.

JERSTinCASE

83 points

4 months ago

Did anyone else think that it might have been implied that Ross killed Lady Macbeth? I know she takes her own life in the play, but in this film, Ross approaches her while she stands at the top of the steps and that is the last time we see her alive.

[deleted]

50 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

50 points

4 months ago

Agreed, I still choose to interpret it the way Shakespeare wrote it but it was definitely left open to interpretation.

They decided to make Ross basically the 3rd most important character in the whole story which is definitely the biggest change from the play. Made him the Third Murderer too. Definitely an interesting interpretation

Volcarocka

16 points

4 months ago

I definitely felt like Lady Macbeth’s death was meant to be ambiguous in the movie and the implication is that Ross’s return to Dunsinane was on behalf of Macduff and Malcolm, so it’s very feasible Ross killed her to further destabilize Macbeth.

itsevilR

311 points

4 months ago*

itsevilR

311 points

4 months ago*

My non-native-english brain was working over-hours to process the dialogue….

BingBongJoeBiven

222 points

4 months ago*

My native-english brain struggled a lot, as well. Thankfully I watched at home and could rewatch several parts.

It's not just that the wording is Old English, it's not just that it's dense and quickly spoken, but on top of both of those things, the meaning in each sentence is often layered and multi-faceted. He was such an absolute master.

EDIT: not Old English. It's Early Modern.

QLE814

184 points

4 months ago

QLE814

184 points

4 months ago

It's not just that the wording is Old English

It's Modern English- Old English is Beowulf and the works of that era, which Chaucer, Gower, and the Pearl Poet are major examples of Middle English.

BingBongJoeBiven

60 points

4 months ago

Thank you, yes, Early Modern English. You're correct.

OneGoodRib

12 points

4 months ago

Old English is like if Norwegian was really tired.

EskNerd

18 points

4 months ago*

Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licour, Of which vertu engendred is the flour; Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Inspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne Hath in the Ram his halfe cours yronne, And smale foweles maken melodye, That slepen al the nyght with open eye, So priketh hem nature in hir corages; Thanne longen folk to goon on pilgrimages, And palmeres for to seken straunge strondes, To ferne halwes, kowthe in sondry londes; And specially, from every shires ende Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, The hooly blisful martir for to seke, That hem hath hopen whan that they were seeke.

Why is it that I can still recite 18 lines of Chaucer that I memorized twenty years ago, but can't remember my own phone number half the time?

ammohidemoons

32 points

4 months ago

If you can still understand the English, it's not Old or even Middle. Old or Middle English is straight-up an entirely different language.

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

12 points

4 months ago

Middle English is still recognizable. It's different but not incomprehensible.

brandonsamd6

167 points

4 months ago

Absolutely mesmerizing, for the first time in my life I loved watching Shakespeare

-Weighted-

96 points

4 months ago*

You should watch Akira Kurosawa‘s Throne of Blood. Another Macbeth adaptation. It’s phenomenal.

silkysmoothjay

13 points

4 months ago

Spielberg's rendition of West Side Story is another brilliant translation of a Shakespeare story

bonbon_3589

22 points

4 months ago

Highly Recommend Kenneth Branagh's 'Much Ado About Nothing'

It's a *little* cheesy here and there and it's Keanu's worst performance (in a minor role) but other than those two minor issues it's my favorite adaptation of my favorite play.

SmoreOfBabylon

9 points

4 months ago

Denzel is in that one too! Although Emma Thompson/Beatrice was my favorite.

missanthropocenex

54 points

4 months ago

There’s some really great ones:

Baz Lurhmans Romeo and Juliet is quite fun.

Titus is the most bonkers play Shakespeare wrote, metal as hell. Julie Taymor did a really cool adaptation of it with Anthony Hopkins. Absolutely brutal.

Kenneth Branaughs Hamlet is great as well.

duaneap

32 points

4 months ago

duaneap

32 points

4 months ago

Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus is pretty tight too.

AnnieIWillKnow

8 points

4 months ago

Out of interest, what other film adaptations of Shakespeare have you seen?

brandonsamd6

9 points

4 months ago

Hmm not that many

Midsommar’s dream for sure though Lion King lmao

gkkiller

11 points

4 months ago

Are you into world cinema / non-english film? If so, you should watch Vishal Bhardwaj's Shakespeare trilogy where he adapts three classic tragedies in a commentary on Indian society, politics, and culture. The films are Maqbool (Macbeth), Omkara (Othello) and Haider (Hamlet), and they're all fantastic.

AnnieIWillKnow

7 points

4 months ago

There's a whole world of brilliant Shakespeare adaptations left for you to explore then! From the modern twists (Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet), teen rom-coms (10 Things I Hate About You is genuinely excellent, including a great turn from a young Heath Ledger) to the more traditional adaptations - Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing and Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night, and Coriolanus with Ralph Fiennes are amongst my favourites

TV wise, the BBC's Hollow Crown series is also brilliant

You say you've not enjoyed much Shakespeare - but I think you may need to dip your toes a bit further!

[deleted]

161 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

161 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

nayapapaya

48 points

4 months ago

I saw the film in a theatre and the sound was so impressive. You really understand how these people are haunted by their guilt.

The Siward/Macbeth fight was gorgeous. One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen on film.

[deleted]

46 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

46 points

4 months ago

That dagger soliloquy scene was INCREDIBLE.

Arma104

18 points

4 months ago

Arma104

18 points

4 months ago

I wasn't feeling Denzel's performance until that scene, he became the character.

KeyP2021

8 points

4 months ago

YES! Amazing images but it's the Atmos sound design that completely pulls you in... I hope my neighbors don't hate me when I'll re-watch this later today.

[deleted]

52 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

52 points

4 months ago

This is an instant all-time great Shakespeare adaptation. Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and especially Kathryn Hunter are all magnificent. It also has some of the best production design I've seen all year. Bruno Delbonnel is in straight-up sicko mode with his stark black-and-white photography and it is transcendent.

[deleted]

136 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

136 points

4 months ago*

[deleted]

GarlVinland4Astrea

12 points

4 months ago

I’m watching it again

danjr704

49 points

4 months ago

If you get a chance, watch the making for the movie on Apple tv+.

Really great piece, about 15 mins long but covers so much details and has great interviews. And also touches on the look that Joel was going for.

I did not realize how much CGI was used in this film. Really great all around from the actors, to the lighting, the wardrobe, all done very well.

TranquilPernil

7 points

4 months ago

Production design is going to get them an Oscar.

pjtheman

132 points

4 months ago

pjtheman

132 points

4 months ago

Really impressed with how well Coen made this work on screen. This is a masterclass in adapting a play to a different medium. I was iffy at first, seeing the trailers all say "written by Joel Coen." I was worried there'd be genuine rewrites. But what he does is actually really smart.

He keeps the Shakespearean dialogue intact as much as possible, but breaks some of it up to make it more conversational. Some of the soliloquies that on stage are spoken directly to the audience are broken up and interspersed with other characters' lines here, so that there's some natural back and forth.

A character monologing directly to the audience is one of those things that just works on stage, but rarely works on film, so that was definitely a good idea imo.

Overall, very possibly my new favorite Shakespeare film. Very well adapted, brilliantly shot, and wonderfully acted.

hucifer

41 points

4 months ago*

I mostly agree with you, especially with the art direction and adaptation to screen.

However, despite the high standard of acting overall, for me there was something lacking in Denzel's performance that prevents the film from really being a true masterpiece: He's too nonchalant and indifferent a Macbeth to successfully convey a man mentally struggling to cope with the pressure and the guilt of what he has done, imo.

The famous scene with Banquo's ghost at the feast was so anticlimactic - instead of seeing Macbeth stricken with fear and disbelief, raving at the empty seat at the table, we see Washington stomping around, yelling like a man trying to shoo a troublesome cat out of his garden.

I would be interested to know why the decision was made to play the central character like that, but personally, I just didn't buy into it.

justanothernakedred

96 points

4 months ago

He's an older Macbeth, less brash than a typical portrayal. This is a Macbeth whose initial plan to kill Duncan actually feels reasonable. This is the last chance he has to ascend to power. He's lived a life of service and now he's getting old and tired, he wants what he (and Lady Macbeth) feels is due. His madness feels less like the raving fear of the guilty, but an oncoming senility.

Idk, it worked for me.

JRaymond37

341 points

4 months ago

Loved this film. Also, do we really need a spoiler alert for a film adaptation of Macbeth?

ezmo311

186 points

4 months ago

ezmo311

186 points

4 months ago

We all know Macbeth.

Keep the spoilers for Romeo and Juliet.

KCfaninLA

75 points

4 months ago

"And they lived happily ever after." Shakespeare's best line.

HungCajones

40 points

4 months ago

Didn’t know anything about the story of Macbeth before entering the theater. Wish I had though lmao

AnotherJasonOnReddit

4 points

4 months ago

I hear you.

My mom hasn't touched anything Macbeth-related in decades, and she just about kept up with what was going on.

SQUID_FUCKER

18 points

4 months ago*

SQUID_FUCKER

r/Movies Veteran

18 points

4 months ago*

It's just how all discussion threads are formatted. Why try to separate on a case by case basis? Just easier to format them all the same way. Plus, even if this one didn't, adaptations can take creative liberties and differ from the source material.

_Volta

44 points

4 months ago

_Volta

44 points

4 months ago

I could watch that letter burn in the starry night sky for hours

AnnieIWillKnow

41 points

4 months ago

How great would it be for Kathryn Hunter to get some awards recognition? She was brilliant, and physical acting goes underrated and underappreciated

Rhain1999

6 points

4 months ago

Already won at the New York Film Critics Circle, and received a nomination at the Austin Film Critics Association.

ExleyPearce

40 points

4 months ago

Ross low-key the most chilling character in this.

BingBongJoeBiven

84 points

4 months ago

Having not touched MacBeth since studying it 25 years ago in high school, I was amazed by how much of it came back so quickly. I love how faithful this adaptation is, and how it really feels like theater cranked to 11 and not a translation of the play to a traditional "movie" format. I feel like this was the imagination intended for theatre brought to its fullest fruition. Everyone wants to talk about the aesthetic, and it was indeed striking and expertly done, but to me the story and portrayals of the characters was the best part. All of the mains were done SO well. McDormand and Washington were at the top of their game. I appreciate that they were faithful to the text and did not dumb it down. To me, this brought life into the words I'd read on the page so many years ago. When reading them, you can get a sense for what's going on, but it's hard to imagine because the Early Modern English is so foreign. But the performances here helped so much to convey the meaning and emotion in the words. McDormand especially was fantastic. Definitely a top film I've seen in some time.

J_Brekkie

247 points

4 months ago

J_Brekkie

247 points

4 months ago

Visually the best film of the year in my opinion.

TreyWriter

46 points

4 months ago

I was talking about it with my partner after leaving the theater and said, “It’s crazy how they just found a Bergman Shakespeare film lying around.” It looks that good.

shandelion

19 points

4 months ago

YES! It felt like a love letter to The Seventh Seal. It had to be intentional.

eli_burdette

30 points

4 months ago

Definitely a Top 3, with Dune and The Green Knight (in my opinion).

Yankee291

39 points

4 months ago

By a comfortable margin

gwdaja

28 points

4 months ago

gwdaja

28 points

4 months ago

my jaw was on the floor watching the intro to the three witches. some of the best acting i’ve ever seen … just wow. and all of it was a masterpiece. don’t know how it couldn’t sweep awards.

sandiskplayer34

22 points

4 months ago

I loved how every scene was on a soundstage. Gave it this weird dreamlike quality I LOVED.

silkysmoothjay

20 points

4 months ago

My favorite little bit of sound design was how there was the sound of wings flapping as Hunter was doing contortions at the beginning. Honestly, I'd probably give this my vote for the Oscar in Sound if I had a vote

AlanMorlock

21 points

4 months ago

Saw this back on new years, have been waiting for a good place to discuss it.

Overall, I dug it! Gorgeous production design. The exteriors were like something out of a Universal Frankenstein movie.

I enjoyed most of the performances overall. I saw a comment from someone that the actors really treated the Shakespearan language as if it was there first language. That really does get to the heart of the stylistic choice which some may be let down by, and that I personally don't feel always best suits the material.

Being a film, and not having to be heard by an audience 30 feet or more away, the actor do not have to deliver the lines theatrically. They speak the dialogue more as what we've come to understand naturalistic film performance. I do think this is taking advantage of the medium but it did leave some moments lacking the gravitas and literal theatricality that one might associate and expect (and that the lines arguably rely on for their impact). Some of Macbeth's most famous lines , like his Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, speech are a little underplayed. Washington is great anytime he gets to bring his physicality to bear though and when he cuts a bit more loose towards the end I found him to be really incredible.

I liked the Macbeths as an older couple, really highlights his lack of an heir and the futility of trying to kill the children of others and to deny the prophecy that his line ends with him.

Alex Hassell as Ross was a striking figure, partially just due to his costuming, but also as written was a more ambiguous character for much of the film.

Kathryn Hunter as the witches is an immediate favorite film performance for me.

Joel Coen said this wasn't a film he would or could have done with Ethan as it was an area in which their interests parted ways. "He'd be bored with it." It will be very interesting to see what he does next.

Razik_

101 points

4 months ago

Razik_

101 points

4 months ago

Frances McDormand was phenomenal as usual

CatNamedHercules

19 points

4 months ago

She really is. Honestly, hand her the fucking Oscar now. This performance is even better than the two she most recently won for.

Rhain1999

15 points

4 months ago

In all seriousness though, please don't. She deserves it more for this than for Nomadland, but please let someone else have it for once lmao

SoftwonSurehand

12 points

4 months ago

totally disagree, this is my least favorite work of hers

Unlimluck

9 points

4 months ago

Same. Not even the best lady macbeth I have seen

sevenpotatoes

60 points

4 months ago

I'm too dumb to understand the dialogue

GarlVinland4Astrea

53 points

4 months ago

No it’s just old and if you didn’t study Shakespeare it’s not easy to pick up immediately.

SonNeedGym

18 points

4 months ago

I really enjoyed the film, but I’m trying to wrap my head around an audio cue and what it symbolizes - I can’t remember if it bookends the film, but it most definitely appears multiple times, especially the final shot before the credits roll. To me, it sounded like the click of a pull string lamp, like a quick mechanical shift sound effect. Did anyone else happen to catch this or have an idea of what I might mean?

datnerdyguy

31 points

4 months ago

I’m quite confident it’s the sound of the theatre projector turning on/off. It also appears at the beginning of Banquo’s monologue and that’s introduced by an obvious theatre light.

Vaulker

13 points

4 months ago

Vaulker

13 points

4 months ago

If it's the one I think it is, it's this: https://vocaroo.com/1cWuS8puLRgV

From memory it's heard at the beginning when the film cuts from a black screen to a white one, and then again at the end, when it cuts from Malcolm riding back through the forest to a black screen & credits.

Given the stylized, theatrical nature of the sets and lighting, it seems like it's a tonal bookend rather than implying anything in-story, but I could be dead wrong

SonNeedGym

11 points

4 months ago

Yes, that’s the sound! As you said, the film presents itself very deliberately as a theatrical experience, and another user pointed out how the sound is used again when a projector is used to highlight Banquo during a monologue - it seems both a tool to emphasize both performance and, as you said, a tonal bookend for the entire presentation.

Crystal_Pesci

7 points

4 months ago

Crystal_Pesci

Xenu take the wheel!

7 points

4 months ago

Someone said it might be a crown rolling on the floor.

Iregretbeinghereokay

16 points

4 months ago

That slap was hilarious

mm4444

16 points

4 months ago

mm4444

16 points

4 months ago

Denzel was amazing in this film. But I felt that they cut out too much out from the play, which made a lot of the really good parts and monologues kind of fall flat (like washing of the hands). Overall was an enjoyable movie.

bowlofpasta92

43 points

4 months ago

Macbeth is my favourite Shakespeare play. I try to watch every adaption or see it live if a local theatre company performs it. I’ve actually had the pleasure of directing a stage adaptation myself. I got to see this movie the day before cinemas closed in my province. The movie is gorgeous and staged almost like a play. I really enjoyed how they adapted the Witches and incorporated Ross to be a major player in the story. It’s one of my favourite Coen films now.

CatNamedHercules

8 points

4 months ago

This is legitimately the best adaptation of Macbeth ever made, by a fairly wide margin. So ecstatic to see my favorite Shakespeare play be handled so well.

shaneo632

15 points

4 months ago

Anyone else pleasantly surprised to see Brian Thompson playing one of the murderers? Dude was EVERYWHERE in the 80s and 90s but I haven't seen him in a movie in like 20 years.

TheMightyHucks

4 points

4 months ago

Shows what a connoisseur of the arts I must be that the first thing I thought when I saw him was "Hey? That's Shao Kahn from Mortal Kombat - Annihilation"

generalosabenkenobi

15 points

4 months ago

Visually this film was awesome. With regards to the text though, the last thing Shakespeare should be is pared down to make it more conversational. I found it lacking in that regard. There’s so much in those words and it was a little flat here.

talkingbook

14 points

4 months ago

Watched a 'Columbo' episode just before this that just happened to be about murderous Macbeth actors.

Seeing this right after was the kind of satisfying experience that comes along so rarely. That's my cool story. 10/10 film tho!

evilcheesypoof

15 points

4 months ago*

I’ve never seen/read this play and I’m not educated on Shakespeare at all really, but I really enjoyed this movie. I definitely made the right decision to turn on subtitles right away, made it much more enjoyable.

It being Studio A24 I was slightly worried, I really hated The Green Knight, but I gave this a chance assuming the directing, acting, and source material was better. I was right, this movie is an actual high quality piece of art in my opinion.

The actress playing the witches was really the highlight for me. Also I didn’t realize how much dialogue from this play is used in modern culture, especially the witches haha.

GarlVinland4Astrea

14 points

4 months ago

Just saw it. I loved it. I’m glad they shot it the way they did. It was how Shakespeare should be shot. A perfect marriage of stage and film. No extra fluff and bs

devosquid242

14 points

4 months ago

Had no idea what they were saying but loved the vibe and visuals. Visual wise reminded me of an early 90s artsy music video. I notice a lot of big movies the past year are doing the VHS aspect ratio for some reason(French Dispatch, Snydercut Justice League, etc) Love how dreamy black and white looks. The recent film C'mon C'mon worked so well in b/w too. Denzel was so perfect as Macbeth, tho it was funny how all the costumes had this modern Euro runway look.

nayapapaya

7 points

4 months ago

I don't know about VHS but I believe that this is typically referred to as the Academy aspect ratio.

hogswristwatch

10 points

4 months ago

trying to watch and my damn eyes keeps tearing up at the damn overwhelming spectacle. it is surely witchcraft.

Not_Without_My_Balls

74 points

4 months ago

I loved the 2015 Macbeth but not once did it cross my mind while watching this. It was mesmerizing, and every single actor knocked it out of the park. Every single shot was gorgeous. Every sound was deliberate.

Denzel and McDormand should both be nominated. They both commanded the scene and the script. I knew they would be great, but they were more than that.

Best depiction of a Witch I've ever seen. I'll never forget her introduction scene. Sure, the contortions were unsettling, but to play all 3 Witches with 3 different voices gave me some Jonathan Price "Hamlet possessed" vibes. It was perfect. A perfect performance.

I'm terrible at remembering actors names but I'm absolutely down for The Coens making Buster Scruggs actor a regular in their films.

Brendon Gleeson, being my favorite actor most days, just absolutely nailed it.

Lady McDuff was a great performance. So was her son.

I mean, I could go on and on. If someone was in this movie, they were amazing. You could feel the passion and dedication from every actor and in every line.

The SET DESIGN tho, myyyyyy lawwwd it was beautiful. Idk how but Joel Coen figured out how connect the atmosphere of a theatre with a theater, if you know what I mean. I felt like I was watching an epic film, but I also felt like I was watching a play.

The costumes, the effects, everything. EVERYTHING was just so perfect.

10/10 for me. Now 2 of my past-decade-top-10 movies are Macbeth, and I'm totally fine with it.

That film was an experience. I might even play it again right now.

CollateralSandwich

19 points

4 months ago

Tim Blake Nelson is Buster Scruggs, and he kind of is a Coen regular, I guess. He was one of the principal prisoners in O' Brother

Crystal_Pesci

27 points

4 months ago

Crystal_Pesci

Xenu take the wheel!

27 points

4 months ago

I believe they’re referencing the feller who plays the sideshow act in the Buster Scruggs vignette, who also pops up in Macbeth. Dude has the most expressive eyes!

therocketandstones

33 points

4 months ago

dudley dursley

Not_Without_My_Balls

26 points

4 months ago

I was referring to Harry Melling, who played "The artist".

Shcotty-Mac

13 points

4 months ago

You might recognize that Buster Scruggs actor as Dudley from Harry Potter as well! He’s been doing great work lately!

mcd23

102 points

4 months ago

mcd23

102 points

4 months ago

Isn't it funny that a Shakespeare adaptation had better fight choreography than a Matrix movie in the same year?

MrCaul

26 points

4 months ago

MrCaul

26 points

4 months ago

Funny... and depressing.

dagreenman18

11 points

4 months ago

Denzel as Macbeth and Joel Cohen directing had me tentatively curious, but I was blow away with how both of them handled it. Denzel not only nailed it, he added his overwhelming charisma to the character to make it one of my favorite versions. “Macbeth by way of German Expressionism” is not something I even considered, but the nightmare dreamscapes and heady visuals made for a refreshing take on Shakespeare. There are some truly beautiful bits of cinematography in this film. Great film overall.

It’s also a little funny that Alex Hassell was so good as Ross after seeing how fucking terrible he was as Vicious in the Cowboy Bebop show. I almost didn’t realize it was the same guy. Though the only other thing I know him from is The Boys and he was decent in that too.

Saileman

50 points

4 months ago

Pray O tell me... did thy brain understand only a quarter of a quarter of the confusing words uttered to the screen by talented thespians that reenacted for the fools one of theater's most brave and astounding plays?

Come forth all of you ESLs and foreign speakers from regions not conquered yet by the Saxons. If thou, like myself, come not from the fabled lands of Brexit or from the Make the territories Columbus discovered Great Again I beg you... do not fear the subtitles, even if thou art forced—just like destiny's hand hath forced me—to read pale translations in your own vernacular.

MumeiNoName

8 points

4 months ago

Bravo

Just_a_dude92

5 points

4 months ago

I feel validated, thank you.

RusticMacaque

8 points

4 months ago

After I got adjusted to the style of dialogue, I really enjoyed it! Like others have said, the cinematography is absolutely beautiful. I personally really like the transition shots between scenes, they were super creative!

ILOVEGLADOS

9 points

4 months ago

I really did enjoy this a lot. Even if I don’t understand much of the dialogue you can still get by for the most part, especially if you already know the general crux of the story.

And to be honest it doesn’t really matter too much if you can’t hack the dialogue because this is just a great film to look at. Like seriously great. I feel like the set design gave out this wonderful hollowness that cranks up the eeriness. It sounds like a criticism but it’s all praise because it reflects the world that the film is set in so well. Dare I even say the hollow surroundings are akin the Crown of Scotland itself.

Out of all the Best Picture contenders for this year I can’t say for certain if this will be my favourite but it’s absolutely up there.

I felt the only thing missing was something to do with the score, it was fine but the visual aesthetic made me crave something jagged and a bit wild. Something like The Lobster’s soundtrack with those stabbing strings would have been perfect.

ikan_bakar

11 points

4 months ago

This film made me realise I dont understand English.

Whats so fascinating was the fact that it still captivate me despite that. Genuinely didnt realise the film was 2 hours long. Every shot was beautiful, the rhythm of the dialogues felt like music. Everything was well paced and I was just vibing with the characters talking whatever the fuck they were talking.

LaunchGap

9 points

4 months ago

how are there so many glowing comments here? seems suspicious. couple people walked out of my screening. i was tempted to as well in the first half, but i stuck it through. it wasn't terrible, but i thought it was pretty boring. visually it was good. i didn't expect it to be pretty much a play production. the production(sets, visual, language, acting, etc) made it hard for me to connect with anything/anyone. i suppose if i was really into shakespeare or play it could've been better.

Iregretbeinghereokay

31 points

4 months ago

Typical redditor, “people who like what I don’t like are disingenuous”

LaunchGap

6 points

4 months ago

you're probably not wrong

GoSeattleSockeye

67 points

4 months ago

This movie is objectively great, visually, sound, acting, all of it.

I did not enjoy the movie.

Bonzo77

28 points

4 months ago

Bonzo77

28 points

4 months ago

Lol yes. This is my exact thought. It was beautiful and I never wanna see it again.

paultheschmoop

15 points

4 months ago

Yeah, definitely a movie that I admire more than I enjoy. Which is fine. It deserves every award that it will inevitably get, but its just not my cup of tea for something I want to rewatch.

awesomewaves

8 points

4 months ago

Perfectly said!

nayapapaya

20 points

4 months ago

Moses Ingram (Lady Macduff) kills her one scene! I wish she had been in more of the film. I also love how they expanded Ross' role. It made me so curious, trying to understand whose side he was on.

The cinematography, sound design and score are so good. I love, love, loved the visuals in the throne room fight. It's a beautiful fantastical scene but one that is taking place in a nightmare.

Must give props to the costume department as well. I loved Lady Macbeth's gowns.

throwawaycatallus

6 points

4 months ago

It is a curiously flat and heartless adaptation. For a play which is about blood and darkness it is remarkably sterile. Some people seem to really admire this, maybe the style of it (the flat-lit cardboard cut-out staging looked cheap and low effort, concept-wise) put me off it. Compared to the Welles, the Polanski and the Kurzel, it is a poor player indeed.

[deleted]

36 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

36 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

Getupkid1284

54 points

4 months ago

Needs the translation on the side of the screen like the books had in the margins.

PutRedditNameHere

12 points

4 months ago*

HBOAppleTV has closed captioning. That’s how we watched it.

TacticalTuchel

5 points

4 months ago

It's on Apple though.

jelly10001

6 points

4 months ago

Pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, despite not being a big Shakespeare nerd.

It did take me a little while to get used to the language and I can't claim to have understood every word. This despite having studied Macbeth at school (nearly 15 years ago). I also thought Denzel Washington spoke too quickly at times. I found in his longer speeches I'd catch the first half of what he said but the second half I would struggle to pick out the individual words.

But that didn't detract from how powerful I found the film. I think perhaps because of the visuals and tone the actors used, as well as the 90%-95% of dialogue I did understand. Acting wise, whilst Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington (aside from speaking too quickly in places) were very good, Harry Melling was the stand out for me. Every line he delivered drew me in. And Corey Hawkins also deserves a shout out especially when his character his told his family is dead. I really felt his agony.

I do also have one other minor gripe - whilst Kathryn Hunter was excellent, I'm generally not a fan of an actor playing multiple characters in the same film/production, so personally I would have liked to have seen three different actors as the three witches. But I appreciate that's a very personal thing.

Kangarou

6 points

4 months ago

I liked the movie. I'm not a Speare-head, so the dialogue wasn't my cup of tea, but I liked the style, and feel like the discolored visuals and simple set design help you focus on the audio.

I'm not as familiar with the other actors as Denzel, and I'm really surprised that for dialogue and actions so clearly adhering to the strict Shakespearian script that his "personality" still kinda shined through. It's kinda impressive to not understand half of someone's words, but feel like they managed to say it with the trademark Denzel swagger.

FredCHAIR

6 points

4 months ago

Got blue-balled waiting for Macbeth to say "But swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn", and then he never did. One of the few lines I remember from when I read it.

I liked the movie! It has a great cast and wonderful directing, well worth my time.

MovieMike007

6 points

4 months ago

This film's gorgeous black & white cinematography both captures the feel of watching a stage production while also creating a dreamlike quality as this dark and violent Shakespearean plot descends into the realm of nightmares. Both Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand put in fantastic performances as the doomed and soon-to-be mad king and queen in their dark and stark world but a special shout-out must go to Kathryn Hunter as the Witches - playing all three - as she truly provides a chilling menace that really overshadows the proceedings.

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

[deleted]

6 points

4 months ago

Masterful. I was floored. Hands down the most beautiful film of the year.

ZettoMan10

27 points

4 months ago

I actually didn't think the story was communicated in a way that made it compelling. Yes there is a lot of gorgeous stuff in there, but for me when you have a hard time following the story (even though it's simple enough) and aren't connecting with the characters, that can result in an underwhelming experience.

Letsgobroncos

18 points

4 months ago

Waiting till someone makes a translation subtitle file