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). ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Director: Ralph Fiennes
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave, Jessica Chastain
Release Date: Jan 20, 2012
Rated R for some bloody violence
Runtime: 2 hr. 2 min.
Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut is a study in intensity. As a director he displays a deft hand converting Shakespeare’s Roman set tragedy into the modern world. It works incredibly well feeling timely and fresh. Moving the setting to an Eastern European city in turmoil is a good fit and easy transition. Fiennes, in the titular role, is boiling to the brim with a sense of ferocity that transcends the screen. He’s captivating throughout, making it impossible to tear your eyes away from him as he spouts out the Bard’s dialogue. Vanessa Redgrave is just as impressive as his manipulative mother. Together they are a truly inspired; their last substantial scene could be used as a acting teaching tool. Gerard Butler, Brian Cox and Jessica Chastain are strong in smaller supporting roles. Brian Cox leaves the biggest impression. Coriolanus is the type of film that showcases so many talent and is like mother’s milk for film and Shakespeare fans.