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Old March 19 2012, 03:52 AM   #409
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Location: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Re: Movies Seen in 2012

32. Coriolanus (C+)

Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut with a Shakespeare adaptation that feels like less than the sum of its parts. Some of the problems are with the original play (which is not one of the immortal Bard's best, though I think it has a number of very interesting elements; I saw a Stratford production with Colm Feore a few years ago which I quite enjoyed), some are related to the adaptation (some brought about by the ways in which it has been translated from Ancient Rome to the present day, mostly relating to how warfare is fought). Stylistically Fiennes is mimicking the Black Hawk Down/The Hurt Locker (he was in the latter) school of modern war filmmaking, which I'm not sure is especially suited to the material. As an actor, Fiennes has always been better fitted to villains, the awkward, and the psychologically disturbed than to more traditional leads, and Coriolanus is fairly suited to him, since he's pretty much a prick. While some of his filmmaking choices are questionable, Fiennes knows how to handle actors (as you might expect). The acting is the best thing about the movie, from old pros Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Cox to the ubiquitous Jessica Chastain (here proving herself adept at Shakespeare). Gerard Butler is okay as Aufidius, Coriolanus' archenemy/ally, though there scenes are ridiculously homoerotic which makes it a little hard to take a lot of it seriously.

Cinema: 8 (+1)
Home Video: 19
Computer: 5
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