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Starring Sir Patrick Stewart as Macbeth and Kate Fleetwood as Lady Macbeth, Rupert Goold's immediate and visceral film is set in an undefined and threatening central European world. Shot on location in the mysterious underground labyrinth of Welbeck Abbey in Nottinghamshire, this is a contemporary presentation of Shakespeare's intense, claustrophobic and bloody drama. Recently honoured with a highly prestigious Peabody Award, the film is based on the Chichester Festival Theatre production of the play that enjoyed sell-out runs in the West End and on Broadway. Patrick Stewart won Best Actor and Rupert Goold Best Director in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards for the stage production and both Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood were nominated for Tony Awards for their performance. Director of the critically-acclaimed play, ENRON, Rupert Goold has been described as 'the hottest, most exciting director around', and Macbeth is his debut as a film director. When the film was screened by the BBC December in 2010, the critics were unanimous in their enthusiastic praise. The DVD and Blu-ray also includes a commentary by director Rupert Goold and producer John Wyver in addition to interviews with Rupert Goold and cast members Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood.
Superb --The Guardian
Dazzlingly inventive --Daily Telegraph
Mesmerising --The Times
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Top Customer Reviews
By the way...I watch this one with my English classes on regular basis before I read the play, and it has always done a great job making my pupils want to know more.
Patrick Stewart is peerless playing this tyrant and I think that Rupert Goold does a superb job of making this soul-less, murdering, maiming machiavellian character appear as tormented and quite put upon by his lady-wife while, concurrently, making Lady Macbeth seem like a woman who's been pushed to the edge of sanity in supporting Regicide. I can't tell who I sympathise with more. So many of the immortal Elizabethan language lines are delivered in such original ways which make this film a timeless masterpiece. There is a simply magnificent scene when Baqnuo's ghost appears while the character of Ross is dancing on the dining table and utter farcicality ensues.
MacDuff is precisely as one envisages him in their mind's eye: tough, uncompromising and totally unafraid to do what is necessary.
My favourite moment: The part which encompasses my inability to decide on whom I most pity. Patrick Stewart's "Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day" really tugs at the heartstrings and makes the final scenes of the play, even though we know what happens, so much more watchable. Macbeth's final lines with "lay on, MacDuff, and damn'd be he that first cries hold... enough" is also, quite possibly, the best I've ever seen it done.
If you are a Shakespeare fan, a Patrick Stewart fan or just a story fanatic; watch this play.Read more ›
This is not a place for an in-depth critique of the text, save to note that its quality is inconsistent, and that the Scottish ruling cadre that it presents is ill-defined. As with Dickens, a director really has to trim, to adapt, just as much as Hemming and Condell compounded. There's no suggestion in the text that Ross is the anonymmous 'Lord' of Act3 Sc6, nor that Lennox is torturing him, for instance, and in the text the first lines are those of the witches, while this version starts with the 'bloody man', who delivers his speeches before one witch injects him full of death, and 'Where shall we three meet again?' comes over him flatlining - it makes for a shocking start.
The production has no reserve in getting its hands not just dirty, but gory to the armpits; Fleance may escape the train on which Banquo is liquidated, but the ensuing purge takes many others. Macbeth's portrait, very much in the manner of Stalin, dominates the banquet which, it is quite clear, the diners only care about leaving alive. The fear of Macbeth is palpable, and when Angus makes to light up, Macbeth takes and crumples the cigarette, sprinkling the tobacco over his head. Angus does not dare brush it off. The 'musical mop' dance - where the odd one out has to dance with the mop - has a horrrifc subtext of 'which of us ends up getting tortured?' It's Ross.
Seyton, the old man and the porter all get merged into one person - Christopher Patrick Nolan - and he plays it very well - sinister and campy - though I'd prefer them as three different people.Read more ›
So, to the Patrick Stewart film. It's dynamic, pacey and engrossing. In fact, in places it's quite scary, which Macbeth ought to be. It's very well realised, and although it's based on a stage performance, the setting is brilliantly exploited. I love the witches, who from the outset are very, very disturbing, and a little bit sexy. Stewart himself is a bit self-indulgent, but he's believable, and that's the main thing that mars all the others mentioned above.
If you're going to buy a dvd of Macbeth, buy this one.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not the most faithful rendition of Macbeth. I found this difficult to watch.Published 6 months ago by Mlle. anonyme
Excellent version, imagined in a shadowy subterranean bunker, with uniforms and iconography reminiscent of Soviet Russia. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dinsdale
Not much else to say. Just amazing. I'd like to give it 5 stars, but I was bit annoyed to find it had no subtitles. Read morePublished 9 months ago by S. Price