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Macbeth (2015)

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Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Director:

Justin Kurzel

Writers:

Todd Louiso (screenplay), Jacob Koskoff (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,680 ( 469)
3 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Madigan ... Macbeth Child
Frank Madigan Frank Madigan ... Macbeth Child
Michael Fassbender ... Macbeth
Marion Cotillard ... Lady Macbeth
Paddy Considine ... Banquo
Lochlann Harris Lochlann Harris ... Fleance
Kayla Fallon Kayla Fallon ... Young Witch
Lynn Kennedy Lynn Kennedy ... Middle-Aged Witch
Seylan Baxter ... Older Witch (as Seylan Mhairi Baxter)
Amber Rissmann Amber Rissmann ... Child Witch
Scot Greenan ... Young Boy Soldier
Hilton McRae Hilton McRae ... Macdonwald
David Thewlis ... Duncan
David Hayman ... Lennox
Jack Reynor ... Malcolm
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Storyline

Macbeth, the Thane of Glamis, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

All hail Macbeth that shall be king See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 December 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Makbet See more »

Filming Locations:

Surrey, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$69,833, 6 December 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,108,247, 23 February 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,601,706, 23 February 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael Fassbender was cast after working with See-Saw Films' producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman in Shame (2011). With Fassbender on board, attention turned to a director who could complement the lead actor's style and add a new layer to this classic play. It was a screening of The Snowtown Murders (2011) by Justin Kurzel, which convinced the producers to send the script Kurzel's way. After Michael Fassbender saw Snowtown, he asked his agent to set up a meeting with Justin Kurzel one year before the idea of him directing Macbeth had even been mooted. Casting Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth was a mutual desire of Justin Kurzel and Michael Fassbender. See more »

Goofs

As Macbeth walks towards the witches for the first time in a wide shot, the sheer socks protecting his supposedly bare feet are clearly visible. See more »

Quotes

Macduff: [confronting the man who has murdered his wife and children] I have no words. My voice is in my sword...
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Connections

Version of Macbeth (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Village Children Song
Written by Allan Macdonald
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User Reviews

 
The Madness of King "Macbeth"
13 December 2015 | by texsheltersSee all my reviews

From the beginning, Captain Macbeth and kinsman to the King is cursed with the witches' prophesy telling him that he will be King. How is that for a dramatic foreshadowing? And it is a curse. His desire to be King, a test of his prowess, will make and undo him.

Why does Macbeth want the Scottish crown that wears so heavy? Why does Lady Macbeth lust after it so? What is the benefit of being queen? Is it just so, that all men lust for power and all powerful women lust for men with power? The play, and thus the film, offers little explanation. And unlike King Lear, there is no fool character to reflect the king's madness, only other lords and kinsman afflicted with a similar infliction.

The acting is uneven. Fassbender does well with the material, but he doesn't live up to expectations. Cotillard as Lady Macbeth fails to impress. She does little to convince us that she is pulling Macbeth's strings and when Macbeth does his worst deeds, her madness and guilt over those actions misses the mark. What she expresses is a weak sadness, not the guilt and shock of an accomplice.

Whether it is is the direction or the acting, Lady Macbeth often didn't strike true. In Kurosawa's version of Macbeth, "Throne of Blood", Lady Macbeth is a clearly conniving, manipulative terror. In this version, not so much. I like the more diabolical Lady and the more clearly falsely grieving version of the Kurosawa adaptation. And I understand how extremely unfair it is to compare anything to the master of cinema, Kurosawa.

Macbeth was played only slightly better. Fassbender is unable to really honor and show the true bloodthirsty nature of character. He holds back, seeming to think that by holding back on his psychopathology, that it shows a complex character. It doesn't. It shows an unwillingness to commit. In the scene where he grieves his choices, he is much more powerful.

Sean Harris, on the other hand, plays the complex Macduff to its fullest. Harris shows incredulity at the actions of King Macbeth, a confused anguish over the king's vengeance, while at the same time demonstrates a hatred and purpose. On hearing of his lost family, Macduff states that he will " dispute it as a man" but he will also "feel it like a man." And Harris/Macduff does just that. His recognition of his fate is the most powerful scene in the film. I like the way the film treats the witches as spirits as not as demonic as in other portrayals. That leaves room for the real manipulators of Macbeth, his wife and his unconscious and barely subsumed desire for absolute power, to come to the fore. His lust for power is barely hidden under a shroud of honor and love, and it only takes the lust of his future queen to bring it out.

At its best, "Macbeth" is a tale of honor, country, family and megalomania. At its worst, the film is a confused jumble of motivations that are seldom clear, except in the case of Macduff. It didn't help that director Kurzel couldn't decide whether this version of the play should be more cinematic or theatrical, using elements of both and not always successfully. The best moments are on the moor, though one would assume the play favored the bedroom scenes between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Their chemistry was fine, but Cotillard in no way convinces us that she could manipulate Fassbender to do anything but bed her.

Aye, there's the the rub. My mind is too modern to accept such simplistic motivations, and it will take more than reading words on a page to get me to accept the premise.

Rating: Matinée

It looks great in the Scottish and Northern English countryside. The sets and costumes are well done and even the Scottish warpaint, often a distraction in other films of Scottish warfare, is both powerful and subtle. The film is visually appealing, and despite its uneven performances, there is enough worth watching on the big screen.

Peace,

Tex Shelters


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