DVD Coriolanus [DVD] (DVD 15982214),
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Ralph Fiennes' directorial debut, CORIOLANUS, scripted by John Logan, updates one of Shakespeare's more difficult plays without sacrificing the Bard's original dialogue. Set in modern times, the movie stars Fiennes as the title character, a fierce General able to fight Rome's most dreaded enemies as well as quell civil unrest from a lack of food. When politicians convince Coriolanus to become a political leader, his natural fierceness and lack of political instincts lead to him being disgraced by other politicians and eventually forced to leave Rome after being branded a traitor. He then joins with his former enemies to invade Rome, and the only person who may be able to talk him out of this revenge plan is his mother (Vanessa Redgrave). The film, which features a portion of the play's dialogue transferred into the mouths of talking-heads on television news shows, played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain
"[T]he film satisfies most in its inspired casting and the fact that every syllable of the text is delivered articulately and persuasively..."
"Ralph Fiennes has given us war and politics on a grand operatic scale in his ambitious and at times thrilling rendering of one of Shakespeare's lesser known works -- CORIOLANUS."
Los Angeles Times
"Redgrave is the film's unqualified highlight....She makes us believe her character...communicating a lively strength as well as resolute iciness with remarkable grace."
"As soon as a thrilling Ralph Fiennes appears on CORIOLANUS its clear why he chose this lesser-known Shakespeare tragedy for his directing debut....[Mr. Fiennes] enters a raucous scene and commands it with just a glare."
New York Times
"Fiennes not only makes a brilliant, fearsome Coriolanus -- he also displays an exciting talent for filmmaking..." -- Grade: A-
4 stars out of 5 -- "CORIOLANUS feels like discovering a whole new Shakespeare work. And what's not to love about that?"
"[R]iches of character are revealed, with copious visual invention....They are superb, every one of them."
Wall Street Journal
"Its a fine example of how a contemporary setting can accentuate the continued relevance of Shakespeares themes, and it bodes well for Fiennes future as a director." -- Grade: A-
3 stars out of 5 -- "Debut-director Ralph Fiennes takes on the title role for himself and he turns in a charging, relentless performance in a film both hyper-intelligent and self-aware..."
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "One of the pleasures of Fiennes' film is that the screenplay by John Logan makes room for as much of Shakespeare's language as possible..."
"Fiennes creates a pitiless world without refuge, where neither the soft nor the unbending can survive."
Sight and Sound
3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Fiennes, as star and commander, pulls of a triumph....Redgrave's towering performance is a tour de force that carries the film to glory."
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