Macbeth (2015): Brief Candle

Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard play the key roles in this 2015 version of Macbeth, and they both play the parts so well that this very well may be the version that all other Macbeth interpretations are compared to.

The film is short — just two hours — and much of the original play is cut, though some additions (the death of a Macbeth child, for one) add depth to the play and strengthening the bond and motivation for Macbeth’s devotion to Lady Macbeth.

The film is dark, very dark, with much of the action taking part at night and in rooms lit only by firelight. The end, though, with the burning Birnham Wood as the background is bright, which seems a deliberate irony — in the darkest moment of the play, when Macbeth has nothing left and Lady Macbeth has killed herself, the film becomes so bright in the background that Macbeth is backlit in every shot. He and the other soldiers are the darkest element on the stage.

video-undefined-2962727000000578-107_636x358The final moments of the play, the tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow speech, and Fassbender and Cotillard’s excellent portrayals of the soul-crushing power of guilt make this version of Macbeth one you shouldn’t miss.

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