In spite of its Irish-German and French leads, Justin Kurzel’s adaptation is a very Scottish Macbeth.
Filmed in large part on Skye, this martial take on Shakespeare’s trip north of the border grows out of the Hebridean island’s bleak and beautiful landscape. Though it occasionally threatens to upstage the young Australian director's cast – who seem under-egged at times – the mountainous backdrop largely acts as an able foil to magnificent performances.
Fassbender, as Macbeth, is bristling and demented in equal measure; Cotillard, as Lady Macbeth, is creepy and enthralling. Paddy Considine turns in a decent Banquo, with Sean Harris’s MacDuff lending grizzly support. There’s Scottish flags flying in the cast’s lower orders: witches Seylan Baxter and newcomer Lynn Kennedy linger well, spurring things along with the right amount of eerie enjoyment.
Kurzel mostly operates at the brooding, simmering end of the emotional spectrum, but sometimes you just want to see things at full tilt. That said, the film’s climax adds plenty ballast to the quieter writhing of its opening acts.
Released by StudioCanal