Closing Night Gala
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Joel Coen dazzlingly adapts this Scottish play for the screen with Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington mesmeric as the couple whose political ambitions proved their fatal downfall.
Screening across the UK: This film is also screening at Chapter Cardiff, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Glasgow Film Theatre, HOME Manchester, Showroom Cinema Sheffield, Tyneside Cinema Newcastle, Warwick Arts Centre, Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast, Watershed Bristol. Visit our partner venues’ websites to search performances and book tickets.
Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, Robert Graf
Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, Bertie Carvel, Corey Hawkins, Brendan Gleeson
USA 2021. 105min
Shakespeare’s iconic and much adapted text, written on these shores over 400 years ago, gets a wonderfully fresh and singular reworking in Joel Coen’s first solo outing as a director. Conjuring a beguiling nether-world between theatre and cinema, this is a stunning production. Cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel’s silvery monochrome images, captured in 4:3, are embellished by the moody, near-expressionistic sets by designer Stefan Dechant. Long-term Coens collaborator Carter Burwell surpasses his usual heady brilliance with a score that balances dramatic heft with pure emotion and builds to a spellcasting crescendo.
And driving the action is an extraordinary cast featuring some of the most breathtaking performances of the year, from Corey Hawkins as Macduff and Alex Hassell as Ross to Harry Melling, Brendan Gleeson... an embarrassment of riches that’s capped by British theatre legend Kathryn Hunter’s contortionist take on the Witches. And leading them all are Washington’s haunted Macbeth and McDormand’s scheming Lady Macbeth – ‘that I may pour my spirits in thine ear and chastise with the valour of my tongue’. Electrifying! So many of us missed the big-screen cinema experience last year and our Closing Night Gala, the European Premiere of Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth is the perfect celebration of an art form that is built on ancient traditions of storytelling and performance, but also possesses such magical powers to capture the intimate alongside awe-inspiring scale and spectacle.
Tickets from £10 (£5 for 25 & Under) for all Gala and Special Presentation screenings at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
This screening will be presented with an audio-description soundtrack for customers who are blind or partially-sighted. Headphones are available on request.
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