>Fiennes' debut as film director
>makes great film, 9/10, on the same level as Drive
How did this become such a commercial failure? More importantly: Why the fuck was it denied US wide cinema release?
I think it's because it wasn't filmed in the US. They did it for 1/10th of the budget in Serbia and Croatia and US got mad because muh monies. There is an economic term for it, but can't think of it now.
It was a critical success, wasn't it?
T.S. Eliot was the original edgelord in proclaiming this was Shakespeare's best play.
It's an amazing play, yes, but it's not on the level of Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth or Lear.
I'd rank it alongside The Tempest (another contrarian favourite), Henry V and Julius Caesar.
It's above Merchant, but Merchant is still good.
Centuries of various spellings from various languages from various countries around western and northern Europe makes for odd pronunciations.
>Recorded in an extraordinary range of spellings including: Fine, Fines, Fynes, Fiennes, Foine, Finn, Fynn, Phinn, Phinnis, Finnes and Finnis, this is basically an English surname, but with some overlap in Scotland, Ireland and even France
It's a shit production. The conceit of setting it in modern times doesn't accomplish anything and leads to a lot of dumb moments (DUDE 1V1 ME WITH KNIVES EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE GUNS). The line delivery kills all the native humor in the text (which also obscures the meaning of certain passages). This leaves it with a really leaden, pompous tone that's completely un-Shakespearian.
There are very few Shakespeare movies that are actually good, and American audiences at some level know that. The system works.
I remember watching this and thoroughly enjoying. The idea of a modern roman empire was interesting and the performances were quite well done in my opinion. To be fair though I have a bit of a tolerance for this kinda stuff. I once saw a version of pulp fiction in the style of Shakespeare done on stage at the Toronto fringe festival
Branagh's Henry V, Much Ado, and Hamlet
Whedon's Much Ado (I know, I know, but it actually plays very well to his strengths)
I've heard Loncraine's Richard III is great, but I haven't seen it
There may be some others I'm forgetting
So you basically want faithful adaptations? Where's the fun in that? Just watch a good stage production then. I think the best Shakespeare movies are one that keep the spirit of the play while expanding on its themes while utilizing the cinematic medium well. Like Prospero's Books, Throne of Blood, Chimes at Midnight, Taymor's Titus, Tarr's Macbeth.
It works sometimes.
Certain works should never be modernised, but I think Richard III worked well in a fascist Britain setting, even though the film itself wasn't amazing -- McKellan was superb as Richard, though, in an over-the-top evil kind of way.
Fiennes missed a chance to set Coriolanus during Mussolini's Fascist Italy, however -- or a similar setting. Mussolini was usurped as he fell from favour when the Italians realised what a mess they got into with such a buffoon. Coriolanus could've been an alternate history of this event, in a more protracted manner.
>Whedon's Much Ado
>Loncraine's Richard III is great
It's fun, but it's not a classic production, even though McKellan is great.
You left out Kurzel's Macbeth, Kosinzew's Hamlet, and Peter Brook's King Lear.
>So you basically want faithful adaptations?
I'd prefer that unless the director has something more interesting or moving to offer, which they probably don't.
>Where's the fun in that? Just watch a good stage production then.
I don't live in New York, London, or Los Angeles, so I can't "just watch a good stage production."
>I'd prefer that unless the director has something more interesting or moving to offer, which they probably don't.
Watch some of the movies I mentioned.
>so I can't "just watch a good stage production."
Or listen to an audiobook version
The language/dialogue is all that really matters in Shakespeare
Same reason Macbeth is rejected, distributors know Shakespeare has a terrible ROI with Americlap audiences.
He could've set Coriolanus in the closing stages of WWII in Italy -- think 'Rome, Open City' and battles in the ruins. It would play like a fictionalised account of the fascist party's turmoil at the end of the war. Aufidius would be a von Stauffenberg figure.
Strike One: Shakespeare, he's very intimidating to people
Strike Two: Small budget film, meaning not much publicity
Strike Three: The main cast consisted of Ralp Fiennes (fine actor, but not one to bring in big crowds) and Gerard fucking Butler.
Meanwhile the new Macbeth, which has a biggger budget, and stars Fassbender who's really popular and Marion Cotillard who has some intentional renown, so far has made only half of its budget.
>expanding on its themes
This is impossible. Shakespeare beat literature on legendary difficultly. Even the most patrician director today could lick the boots of a single sentence written by the Bard.
t. Harold Bloom
The Hollow Crown was alright.
Plus you get to see Jeremy Irons smack Tom Hiddleston for real.
>DUDE 1V1 ME WITH KNIVES EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE GUNS
In Roman reality it was actually: DUDE 1V1 ME WITH SWORDS EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE ARMIES.
Even during the 19th century wars officiers would sometimes challenge each other to duels with swords even though their units had guns. (google Russo-Japanese officer duels or something). It's a matter of honour, more important than life and death.
The tone is perfectly Shakespearean in the spirit of his histories and the lines are perfectly delivered (as opposed to any theater play you will see). The text is not supposed to be humorous. The contemporary setting makes it much easier to sympathise, and also introduces a whole new aesthetic (US-style uniforms and Balkan streets, modern technology but ancient population size). Art does not reproduce history, it merely uses it. I hope you'll learn that some day you Hollywood-watching pleb-trash. "The American audiences" consist 95% of obese imbecils.
TL;DR: You're a dimwit and a pleb.