THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
Starring: Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Kathryn Hunter, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson, Harry Melling, Bertie Carvel, Moses Ingram, and Ralph Ineson
Director: Joel Coen
It rarely gets as good as The Tragedy Of Macbeth, as director Joel Coen’s Shakespeare adaptation is a soaring technical marvel. Every single department is firing on all cylinders, from the sound work to Carter Burwell’s score to Bruno Delbonnel’s stunning cinematography. When it comes to the performances, Frances McDormand never fails to deliver, but Denzel Washington is ferocious and mesmerizing as Lord Macbeth (Kathryn Hunters also is a stand out). Sadly, the film leans hard into the Shakespearean dialogue, so if you’re not in tune with the Old World way of speaking, this may not be for you.
There aren’t many new elements that separate director Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth from other straightforward adaptations of Shakespeare’s work, but for fans of the source material, it is as rich as candy. The cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel is amongst the most stunning 2021 has to offer, simultaneously emblematic of both traditional theater and film, and the performances it captures only elevate its power. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand turn in typically world-class work, but it’s Kathryn Hunter’s take on the witches that gets under one’s skin, along with the stellar score and indissoluble sound design. I loved it.