William Shakespeare's classic play is brought into the present with the setting as Great Britian in the 1930s. Civil war has erupted with the House of Lancaster on one side, claiming the right to the British throne and hoping to bring freedom to the country. Opposing is the House of York, commanded by the infamous Richard who rules over a fascist government and hopes to install himself as a dictator monarch.Written by
Anthony Hughes <email@example.com>
Sir Ian McKellen wrote the screenplay while touring the play. Originally, he thought it would be a television production, but he soon realized that the large production he envisaged would require the budget of a feature film. Still on tour, he began to consider screen actors he met for roles in this movie, including Sir Patrick Stewart, Danny DeVito, and Meryl Streep. See more »
Richard III died aged 32, after reigning for 2 years. Ian McKellen was in his mid-50s during filming and no attempt is made to hide his age. However he was not the first or last middle-aged actor to play the role. See more »
I just rented this again for the 4th time. Maybe I should just buy myself a copy. It's among my top five movies of all time and perhaps my favorite Shakespeare adaptation. It's stunning, brilliant, and beautiful. If you like your Shakespeare with every forsooth and thee and thou spoken by actors poncing around in doublets, you'll want to avoid it. If you're a bit more daring, rent it. For the unbelievably gorgeous costumes and sets. For the modern fascist spin that gives the whole thing disturbing contemporary relevance. But most of all for the performances--from McKellan's mesmerizing turn as Richard to Nigel Hawthorne's sweet and simple Duke of Clarence. Even the smaller roles are perfectly cast. I enjoyed Adrian Dunbar's sadistic assassin, Domenic West's dashing Richmond, and Robert Downey Jr. as the playboy Earl Rivers. Annette Bening, I must say, is terrible as Queen Elizabeth. Completely unconvincing down to her wandering pseudo-aristocratic accent. I keep imagining her betters tittering with embarrassment every time the lesser-light Bening exited the "stage." A minor flaw, however, in a stunning movie. Rent it. Again and again!
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this