THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by Susan Granger

As a first-time solo director, Joel Coen takes a sparse, stylized look at one of Shakespeare’s most compelling plays. Filming in austere black-and-white, he presents an abstract physical world that’s filled with deep, geometric shadows, sharp angles and bleak walls, focusing on an ambitious middle-aged couple, determined to usurp political power in medieval Scotland.

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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by T. J. Callahan

Director Joel Coen goes solo as helmer for the first time with a stripped down version of Shakespeare in The Tragedy of Macbeth, starring his Oscar winning wife, Frances McDormand, and fellow Oscar winner, Denzel Washington as the Lady and Lord of the castle. The film was shot in just 36 days — in much the same way the Bard might have done it with all of the action filmed completely on a sound stage — but Coen was still able to fully convey the bleak tension and disquiet of the times.

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THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH – Review by Diane Carson

Joel Coen has breathed new life into the Scottish play in The Tragedy of Macbeth. Of course we know the story of the ambitious, heinous Lord Macbeth who kills to be kind and of Lady Macbeth’s encouragement, all in the service of their own demons and ultimate defeat, so surprising to them. Birnham Wood will come to Dunsinane and “none of woman born/Shall harm Macbeth,” but that does not include Macduff “untimely ripped from his mother’s womb.”

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THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS – Review by Diane Carson

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs delivers the Coen Brothers’ take on the Old West. Six distinct stories, running two hours twelve minutes total, boast six outstanding, different casts. As writers and directors, as well as editors under their usual designation of Roderick Jaynes, each story presents a Coens’ inimitable take on familiar Old West topics and themes.

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