By Scott Brown
Updated August 18, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT

Shakespeare’s bloody Titus Andronicus demands a vivid interpretation, and first-time auteur Julie Taymor (Broadway’s The Lion King) boldly throws her hat into the arena with the ambitious but addled film Titus. As the titular Roman general, an oddly remote Hopkins looks relieved when the story’s inherent dementia (cannibalism, dismemberment, etc.) allows him to relinquish nuance for pop-eyed madness. Taymor, too, goes a little nuts: Her lush yet indulgent visuals often degenerate into crazed, gimmicky stagecraft. B

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