Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Imagine, if you will, a Shakespeare play performed by pro wrestlers, washed-up porn stars and the Rural Kentucky Trailer Park Players.
This is the film of that play. There is so much to tell about this inept production: the producers seem to have thought that "Moor" means "having a glass eye"; the director belongs to the school that holds that you can convey more meaning as an actor by waggling your eyebrows a lot; the music is provided by a cello, a bottom-of-the-line keyboard and a recording of a buzzing insect and appears to be unrelated to the action; the director seeks to set up an atmosphere of horror by having the actors laugh maniacally at apparently random moments and by having a pregnant pause after every line, even the ones without hope of pregnancy. The credits reveal that the production team consists of the actors, including the costume credit to the lead actress, a sure sign of the quality and sophistication of the production. The credit to the guy providing the gallons of fake blood ("Slaughterhouse gore courtesy of Tom Holley") is also telling (and hilarious).
Yes, folks, the fake blood is a major player in this production. There is nothing like the draw of heads and arms and ears being chopped off and blood spurting from the wounds, of people being stabbed repeatedly, and babies' heads being bashed in to gain you a faithful audience. If done realistically, this could be at least nauseating, if not horrifying, but alas there was no budget to make these effects look real so you can clearly see that the severed limbs and heads are rubber and the baby is a doll.
Mind you, they did work out a way to show a guy having his face flayed off while alive, which is pretty horrific. They were so proud of this effect they used it in their cover art. This is the culmination and climax of the blood and gore and so naturally, in order to give it maximum effect, the director put it in the first ten minutes of the film, so everything was downhill from there.
If what you demand of a film is lots of blood and over-the-top acting, you'll love this. You have the same sensibility as the groundlings who made this play, and Kyd's Spanish Tragedy, and the works of Webster hugely popular in Shakespeare's day and after. Shakespeare wrote this one for you, guys. And this production, ridiculous and inept as it is, is true to what he intended and who he intended it for.
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