The black-and-white pallette, the aspect ratio, the way these soliloquies and famous scenes—like Macbeth’s encounter with the Three Witches—are all framed, The Tragedy of Macbeth looks like a haunting take on Shakespeare’s original work. Even more so than a play as dark as Macbeth is already. But it also looks, lovingly so, quite like less of a widely scaled film adaption and instead riffing on its stage production roots. Time will tell just how faithful to the original work Coen stays, but so far it seems to be a pretty direct take on Macbeth’s narrative and form in the first place. I mean this in the nicest way: this looks like a big budget recording of a theater showing, with one hell of a cast and shot through a Coen lens, and that’s just the most perfect kind of Christmas gift we could possibly ask for.


The Tragedy of Macbeth will release simultaneously in theaters and on Apple TV+ on December 25. Try not to break a leg before it drops!

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