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The Tempest (2010)

Trailer
2:31 | Trailer
Shakespeare's epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female.

Director:

Julie Taymor

Writers:

Julie Taymor (screenplay), William Shakespeare (play)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Felicity Jones ... Miranda
Jude Akuwudike ... Boatswain
Reeve Carney ... Prince Ferdinand
David Strathairn ... King Alonso
Tom Conti ... Gonzalo
Alan Cumming ... Sebastian
Chris Cooper ... Antonio
Helen Mirren ... Prospera
Ben Whishaw ... Ariel
Djimon Hounsou ... Caliban
Russell Brand ... Trinculo
Alfred Molina ... Stephano
David Scott Klein David Scott Klein ... Prospera's Husband
Bryan Webster ... Guard
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Storyline

In Writer, Producer, and Director Julie Taymor's version of "The Tempest", the main character is now a woman named Prospera (Dame Helen Mirren). Going back to the sixteenth or seventeenth century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft. In Taymor's version, Prospera is usurped by her brother and sent off with her four-year daughter on a ship. She ends up on an island; it's a tabula rasa: no society, so the mother figure becomes a father figure to Miranda (Felicity Jones). This leads to the power struggle and balance between Caliban (Djimon Hounsou) and Prospera; a struggle not about brawn, but about intellect.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some nudity, suggestive content and scary images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The decision to switch the gender of the lead character was a diving board to a whole new appreciation of the play. It had everything to do with Dame Helen Mirren and a coincidental exchange that Writer, Producer, and Director Julie Taymor had with Mirren. When Taymor encountered Mirren at a party, she had already envisioned Mirren in the role and their conversation cemented her decision. "We were talking Shakespeare", Taymor recollects, "and she had no idea I was planning this film when she mentioned that the first Shakespeare she ever did was Caliban in 'The Tempest', and she actually said to me, 'You know, I could play Prospero-as a woman.' And I said, 'Do you want to? Because I've been preparing a film version of 'The Tempest' with exactly that in mind.' And, fortunately, she said 'yes'." See more »

Goofs

The chessboard that Miranda uses is set up 90 degrees rotated from its proper position. Facing the board, each player should have a white square on the far right of their back rank. This board is positioned so that the black squares are on that side. See more »

Quotes

Caliban: This island is mine!
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Crazy Credits

Throughout the credits we see Prospera's books sinking in the ocean one by one, presumably after she tossed each of them in. See more »

Connections

Version of The Tempest (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Coda
Performed by Beth Gibbons
Music by Elliot Goldenthal
Lyrics by William Shakespeare
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User Reviews

 
Sound and Fury...
3 September 2012 | by OttoVonBSee all my reviews

Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus) sets her sights on the Bard's final masterpiece, recasting Prospero as Prospera (Hellen Mirren) and letting the magic and romance loose in this very different take on The Tempest.

First, what works? Hellen Mirren does, rather unsurprisingly, and the art direction of photography are consistent with the vision of the woman who gave us Titus back in 1999. Kudos as well to the ever-watchable David Strathairn and Djimon Hounsou.

What annoys? Now we enter very subjective ground. This beautiful, deceptively simple play is turned into an amped up to the max, loud and frantic film. The electric guitar whines are painfully out of place, and Russell Brand, never guilty of subtlety on a good day, will make you claw your own eardrums out. It's almost as if Taymor had forgotten we were right there with her cast, right behind the camera, instead of sitting 50ft back in a packed theater.

This has proved an incredibly divisive film, and I feel split right down the middle on it. I admire Titus, in my mind one of the best Shakespeare adaptations in history, but whereas Taymor's turbocharged visuals and loud, often trashy use of sound and effects served as a perfect illustration for Shakesepare's bonkers gore-fest, it diminishes the more mature, heartfelt qualities of this play. The Tempest is a great playwright's swan song, the work of an aging, mature artist. Why would you give us an overly loud, ADD-afflicted MTV version?

Ultimately, this frustrating missed opportunity makes you wonder, did Taymor have her Shakespeare mixed up all along. Rather than give us "the stuff that dreams are made of", she serves us "a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 January 2011 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Tempest See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$42,436, 12 December 2010

Gross USA:

$277,943

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$405,861
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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