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Movie Review: Coriolanus

Alternate Title: Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Story: Coriolanus is not one of Shakespeare's well known plays but it has all of the elements of a modern drama. It is about politics, betrayal and revenge. Who doesn't like that trifecta in a plot? Yes, it is a 400 year old play, but it has been reset in modern war torn cities, Rome and Antioch, complete with CNN type newscasts to forward the story and help to explain the plot.

Caius Martius Coriolanus is one of Rome's most famous and popular generals. His battle scars are badges of honor. He is both revered and hated by the citizenry. While away at war, two politicians scheme to have him rejected as a 'counsel' member when he returns. Coriolanus' pride does not let him humble himself to the people. He, as one would say in modern parlance, he refuses to be reduced to a sound bite. The people turn on him and banish him from the country. Coriolanus joins forces with the enemy and as they say, 'revenge is a dish best served cold.'

This film is fast-paced, very bloody, well acted and, once you get used to the language of Shakespeare, enthralling. Rounding out the story is a creepy relationship between Coriolanus and his mother Volumnia. No one does mother-son relationships better than Shakespeare did.

It was directed by Ralph Fiennes and written by John Logan. It is based on the play by William Shakespeare.

Watch the trailer here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_RJ2MPrZfM&

Acting: Ralph Fiennes as Caius Martius Coriolanus was primal, scary and exciting to watch. Gerard Butler as Tullus Aufidius was surprisingly low key. Brian Cox as Menenius was terrific as was Vanessa Redgrave as Volumnia. Jessica Chastain as Virgilia had a very small part and I was not impressed one way or another.

Predilection: I like Ralph Fiennes.

Trivia: Of the roughly one dozen actors to play "Hamlet" on Broadway, Ralph Fiennes is the first to win a Tony Award for doing so, in the 1995 Almeida Theatre production directed by Jonathan Kent. His performance as Amon Goeth from his film Schindler's List (1993) was ranked #15 on the American Film Institute's Villains list in their compilation of the 100 years of The Greatest Screen Heroes and Villains. Coriolanus is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1605 and 1608. The play is based on the life of the legendary Roman leader, Caius Marcius Coriolanus.

Critters: A street cat and some street dogs.

Food: No time to eat.

Sex Spectrum: None

Opening Titles: All titles are at the end.

Visual Art: Director of photography, Barry Ackroyd (The Hurt Locker) does a fabulous job.

Theater Audience: About 10 other people. We all stayed through the credits.

Weather: Not a factor.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Very violent.

Drift Factor: Attention must be paid throughout.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: I thought so - but it was not nominated.

Big Screen or Rental: I always promote the big screen

Length: Two hours