Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -3

Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave. Written by John Logan, based on the play by William Shakespeare. Directed by Ralph Fiennes.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Caius Martius ‘Coriolanus’ (Ralph Fiennes), a revered and feared Roman General is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother Volumnia (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuses to support him, Coriolanus’s anger prompts a riot that culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Because Shakespeare was so gifted with words, we often forget that most of his works were ripe with violence, sometimes quite gory violence. Now on film and updated to modern times, Coriolanus reflects today’s news headlines and our ability as moviegoers to process graphic depictions of war. It’s almost as if filmmakers believe we viewers can’t get enough of violent visuals. And maybe they’re right. Maybe we haven’t come so far from the days of Nero and the Coliseum.

Actor Ralph Fiennes directs with a revelatory passion, and allows his cast to individually shine – especially the superb Vanessa Redgrave. But I expected its aim at man’s most destructive component – pride – to have more of an emotional wallop. Despite several potent moments, which seem more a salute to thespian prowess than the revelation of human nature, the completed work is, if I may borrow from the Bard, “…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: The f-word is written on a fence – “f--- the rules.” I caught no other obscenity.
Profanity: None
Violence: Oh, a lot of violence including scenes of present day protestors being beaten by police and war battles that feature explosions, knife stabbings, bullet-riddled bodies and gallons of imitation blood.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Smoking and drinking.
Other: None
Running Time: 122 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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