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Ralph Fiennes has now brought 'Coriolanus' to the screen. He himself plays the general, and directs the film; the dialogue is all Shakespeare’s, pared and peeled back by John Logan, who is best known as the writer of Gladiator. Fiennes and Logan will be hoping to lure admirers of that movie to their own project, though it won’t be easy. Not since Schindler’s List has Fiennes’s icy stare been put to better use; his eyes seem all the colder for being set in a razored skull, which wears more blood than hair. Fiennes’s film is rich in gore, and he is in the thick of it. The movie unfolds in a modern setting, and in modern dress. Fiennes shot much of Coriolanus in Belgrade, a place that rang, all too recently, to the rousing of partisan crowds. Indeed, he splices in existing news footage of chaotic crushes outside the Serbian parliament, and of tanks on the move. If Fiennes’s Coriolanus falters, it is less in its sense of history than in its desire to parcel out the story in modish, media-saturated scraps. That seems fitting enough, but we also get panel discussions in tv studios, video feeds, and a genuine British news anchor declaiming iambic pentameters as if from an autocue – all a trifle forced, as if Fiennes were concerned that we might be embarrassed, or bored, by the spectacle of the bare play. He need not worry; the sinew of Shakespeare’s late verse is so flexible and accommodating that it sounds more urgent. Fiennes’s Coriolanus, bristling with chops and changes such as these, has precisely the drive and the desperation that the play invites. It is the most oppressive of the great tragedies, and, Macbeth aside, the leanest, and the task that Fiennes has set himself is to liberate it from the theatrical while preserving the dramatic bite. In that, he succeeds, with brio. – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker Courtesy Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle Official Trailer
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Directed by: 
Ralph Fiennes
Running Time: 
Ralph Fiennes, Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave and Jessica Chastain
Screenplay by: 
based on the play by William Shakespeare

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