The Tragedy of Macbeth

The Tragedy of Macbeth ★★★★½

Even better than I'd hoped, this is a stark and expressionist take on the play, which embraces its one sound-studio artifice in a way I wish more films would. The Witch(es) scene that opens sets the tone, surely one of the freakiest in film history since Kurosawa's. And then it's just one intelligent choice after another. When you seen the play enough times and/or know the various adaptations, you start to check off each challenge: how are they going to do the dagger scene? the second witches scene? the "tomorrow and tomorrow" soliloquy? And here each answer is "not how you expect/with supreme visual intelligence." I wasn't sure about Washington at first, would he be wearing the history of the role like a heavy coat...but then we get to the "dagger" scene and suddenly, holy shit, it's 100% Denzel magic. McDormand more subdued that I would have thought.