United Kingdom, 2011, 122 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Literary, Political, War
Language: English

MUST END Thursday, April 19th at the Denver FilmCenter/Colfax
35mm Presentation - For the accomplished actor Ralph Fiennes, who stars in and makes his directorial debut with this disturbing update on Shakespeare's late-career tragedy, “the continual fickleness of politicians and the people who elect them” and the hunger for power are issues even more crucial today than they were in the early 17th century. The Bard's deeply flawed military hero, Caius Martius (called Coriolanus for his victory over the Volscians at Corioli), may have won and lost in ancient Rome, but Fiennes says his models for the title character include Ariel Sharon and Vladimir Putin.

Now set amid 21st-century guerilla insurgencies and the incessant blare of cable TV news, this Coriolanus deploys the beauty and drama of Shakespeare's language to profound contemporary effect—just as Ian McKellan's modernized take on Richard III shed new light on 1930s fascism. As a conquering hero who angrily dismisses the needs and concerns of ordinary Romans, Fiennes' Caius Martius invites comparison to scores of current politicians, and his downfall remains poignant 400 years after he first hit the floor.

Adapted by John Logan, the film is sumptuously photographed by Barry Ackroyd and features a prestigious supporting cast worthy of the world's greatest playwright: Gerard Butler plays Coriolanus's rival-turned-collaborator-turned-rival, Tullus Aufidius; Brian Cox is the influential Roman senator Menenius; and Vanessa Redgrave is the hero's ambitious and manipulative mother, Volumnia. Of his timeless protagonist, Fiennes says he was cursed with “a lonely anger, a monstrous integrity. I think we see that situation all the time.”

DIRECTOR: Ralph Fiennes
Producer: Ralph Fiennes, John Logan
Editor: Nicolas Gaster
Screenwriter: John Logan
Cinematographer: Barry Ackroyd
Principal Cast: Gerard Butler, Ralph Fiennes, Jessica Chastain, Brian Cox, Vanessa Redgrave

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