Two reasons: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. Both tremendously committed and transformative actors that will capture the mental distortion of the two leading characters: Macbeth and Lady Macbeth respectively. We have seen both actors play emotionally and mentally unstable characters, as well as playing a diverse range of characters.
Most recently Michael Fassbender portrayed slave owner Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave (2013) with such conviction. For those who are aware of the character of Macbeth, realise that he declines into madness and delusion, the role requires someone who is able to completely immerse himself into the role. Macbeth and Edwin are both completely different characters, but his role in 12 Years a Slave is a good indication of the fact that Michael Fassbender can go where he needs to go in order to pull off the role of Macbeth.
Marion Cotillard is one of the most exciting actresses of our generation. What role can she not do? The role which comes to mind when questioning her ability to portray Lady Macbeth is in her Oscar winning role of La Vie En Rose (2007). It is such a transformative role where you can see the results of her investment into the role, in order to create an authentic and raw character.
Cotillard talks about her struggles with getting out of character, with specific reference to La Vie En Rose, which shows how deep she goes into her roles. This should give audiences good faith that she will completely own the character of Lady Macbeth. The role will require that edge that we saw with her character in Inception (2010), just multiply it by 100 and you have Lady Macbeth.
The director of Macbeth is Justin Kurzel, an Australian filmmaker of the critically acclaimed Snowtown (2011). It’s not my type of film, but I do believe that he has an understanding of the terrifying nature of Macbeth, and so do the critics at Cannes Film Festival where the film premiered.
The reason why I’m excited about the film is because I studied the play in 6th form, thus studying it in detail and gradually understanding the deeper layers of the play. Truth be told it was quite a while ago so my memory of the play is a bit rusty, but I remember loving learning about the play and found the characters fascinating to explore. What really resonated with me is how it deals with the fact that sometimes people can go too far into their actions and the question arises: Can we really turn back to our former selves? That is one of the many themes explored. The character of Lady Macbeth is so complex and richly detailed, she highlights the fact that there is a line in the pursuit of power. It’s their individuality and their partnership that is exciting to explore.
“As Macbeth and Lady Macbeth, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard are a dream-team pairing, actors who radiate charisma, perhaps more charisma than can be entirely absorbed into the fabric of the film.”
I’m writing this prematurely as I don’t know for certain whether I will enjoy this film or not, but there is hope. The reason why I’m excited for this film is because it looks like a stripped back and bold version of the well known play. This looks like a fresh interpretation for a modern day audience, hopefully this film can make Shakespeare relevant and exciting for todays audience.
Why should you be excited for Macbeth? Because it looks awesome!
Macbeth will be released in the UK on 2nd October 2015.