I have a deep, abiding, oddly specific love for Shakespeare film adaptations that opt to set their play’s action in an updated, anachronistic time period. And I don’t mean films “inspired” by Shakespeare, like West Side Story or Ten Things I Hate About You. I’m talking films that specifically utilize the Bard’s glorious original dialogue, but recontextualize it in new surroundings. The ’90s had a great run of such movies: Baz Luhrmann’s streets-of-LA revision of Romeo and Juliet, Ethan Hawke’s deeply underrated hipster Hamlet, Ian McKellen’s Hitler-inflected Richard III, and Kenneth Branagh’s four-hour Hamlet, which remade the play as a kind of Tsarist-era Russian epic.
So believe me when I say that the trailer for Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus is a genuine treat: Fiennes looks to have converted the play into a Hurt Locker-esque war film, complete with Gerard Butler as a soldier and Brian Cox as a vicious baddie. My advice: Tell your kids it’s an action movie. Then, when you’re walking out of the theater, be all like “Hey kids, so did you like the movie? Enjoy the gore? Find yourself getting invested in the totally cool characters? Well guess what: You just got some culture, bitches. Because that badass war movie was written by William Motha%@#*ing Shakespeare.” Ha ha, kids are so dumb! Watch the trailer:
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