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Article – Macbeth & The Oscars


Posted February 1, 2016 by

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Macbeth & The Oscars

“Michael Fassbender will get nominated for Steve Jobs but he should be nominated for Macbeth.”

These were the words tumbling out of my mouth as soon as I left my first of many tackles with the latest cinematic version of the Bards best work. Of course, I may have changed that quote slightly because I boldly said that Michael Fassbender will win. He will eventually but we can all conceded that this is Leo’s year, can’t we?

Anyway, Macbeth was my favourite movie of last year (only occasionally swapping places with The Voices because the black comedy is much more my tempo.) Directed by Snowtown’s Justin Kurzel and starring Fassy and Marion Cottilard, I thought the adaptation had the award season in the bag. But like Macbeth, I succumbed to my own arrogance and surety.

Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, Shakespeare’s biggest tragedy is stunningly realised on the big screen. Macbeth revolves around an ambitious Bain of Scotland who, on the aftermath of a battlefield, sees three witches who gift him with a prophecy that he will be King. Taking the news back to his wife, Lady Macbeth, she ruthlessly urges him to kill the reigning King Duncan in order to succeed the throne. However, racked with guilt and visions of bloody war, could the act send both Macbeths into turbulent insanity?

So let’s break it down. Macbeth should have more award nods but has a pitiful absence in its accolades. Though nominated for a Palme d’Or and British Independent Film Awards nailing it again (but none of the wins,) Macbeth was just too off-kilter to be recognised by the Academy – both British and American. The woeful fans off this remarkable film will ache that its splendour seems to be missed – not only because it has been cut off from awarding bodies, but critics and audience aren’t fervently exploding with rage that it has been missed or event excitedly chatting about this.

On this note: I’d like to add that I realise there is a bigger and larger problem with diversity and people of colour and women that I urge you to really loudly change as well. But if you’ll humour, and let me divulge in whining, for this one article.

So here’s a breakdown of what it should be nominated for and why. By the way, it’s out on DVD & Blu-ray on Monday, so I suggest you invest.

Best Film

Let’s put it bluntly, The Big Short shouldn’t have been nominated this year. Now I do believe Creed should have a spot and I have yet to see Carol or Spotlight, but I’d heavily push Macbeth into the category. While some critics were troubled with the enunciation of the film, the movie yearns with a poeticism beyond the worlds created in the Academy’s list. Enthralling until the end, Macbeth engaged with Shakepeare’s original text and fleshed out an adaptation alluring, beautiful, and timeless. Changing your glorious world when you leave the screens, Macbeth is an impacting movie.

Best Director – Justin Kurzel

Justin Kurzel is a small director whose directing debut feature was the brilliant Snowtown (a difficult but important watch.) To go from Snowtown to Macbeth in a few short years is nothing short of miraculous. Kurzel directs fiery passion with his actors and commands a visual perfection on the screen. He is assured in his tackling of Shakespeare that complete magic happens on screen and the vibrant brutality of Macbeth is stunningly brought to life by Kurzel. Also, many people talk about the lengths that filmmakers have gone to this year to make their movies – Kurzel filled on the Highland moors and in the rain, adding to the melancholy aesthetic.

Best Actor – Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender is one of the most visceral actors of this generation, next to his X-Men companion James McAvoy. The Irish actor has already been nominated for an Academy Award and has another nod under his belt for Steve Jobs (under this category so I cannot sniff too much at Fassbender being missed here.) However, his work in Macbeth exceeds that of Steve Jobs. Taking on the weight of Shakespeare’s tormented hero, Fassbender rolls menace and fright as words tumble from his tongue. His eyes spark fire and he trembles with the sanity as he dwindles. When he seethes “Full of scorpions is my mind,” with rows of gnashing sharp teeth; a chill ripples through you. Completely flawless performance.

Best Actress – Marion Cotillard

Marion Cotillard already has a Best Actress Academy Award under the garments so I guess that we can allow her not to win this year (plus, Brie Larson is spectacular in Room and deserves the prize) but at least some sort of mentions would be great. The French Actress oozes with the ambition and malice Lady Macbeth requires yet tenderly juxtaposes it with guilt, remorse, and grief. Her suicidal ranting and worry for her equally loony husband is gripping, ferocious, delicate, and poignant all at the same time. Arguably, some of her best work, Cotillard enthuses excellence into this classical character and evokes the downfall of herself and Macbeth.

Best Cinematographer – Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom)

Right, so, here’s what you do. You go to the DVD shop on Monday or Video on Demand service then you buy this movie and shove its exquisite cinematography in your eyeholes. Because through the colours of blue, orange, and red, balanced with the haze of Scotland and the muddy valleys of their Kingdom, there is not one second of the cinematography and camera work that doesn’t brim with oppulance and perfection. Animal Kingdom’s Arkapaw simply amazes here, under the guide of Kurzel, Arkapaw adds original artistry to Macbeth.

Honourable Mention: Sean Harris and Paddy Considine as Best Supporting Actor because respectively they are both captivating tour de forces!

In fact, everyone. Everyone involved here should’ve got something.


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Cookie N Screen –
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