The first weekend in August saw me meet my first ever film bloggers in London for the first UK LAMB meet up. And I was SO glad I went. I actually delayed booking any kind of accommodation and getting my train ticket because I wasn’t totally sure I wanted to go. I’ve only been almostginger.com for a little over a year and had only started interacting with the film blogging community since January. Hec, I wasn’t even an official member of LAMB yet! What right had I to go and barge in on these bloggers who had known each other (digitally, anyway) for years and years?
Totally not the case. Everyone was smashing and it made absolutely no difference. I was very aware that I was a newbie and no one would have read my blog, but what else would be the case when you’re new?
Anyway, being film bloggers, it made all kinds of sense to go and watch a film together so we could all judge it critically and on it’s cinematic elements and how naked Michael Fassbender may or may not have been. We went to watch Macbeth at Picturehouse Central and, although we were never going to please everyone, I’m really glad we saw it.
I’m not going to pretend I’m any kind of Shakespeare nut, despite being half a Drama graduate, but I do know all the big ones like Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, etc. etc. And I once saw a drunk version of Much Ado About Nothing if that counts? And I definitely know Macbeth.
For those of you who weren’t subjected to our favourite anti-hero as a British school kid studying for an English GCSE let me walk you through the gist of the plot. Macbeth, some sort of Lord in Scotland, has just triumphed at a battle with his mate Banquo. He’s met by 3 weird sisters who give him a prophecy that he shall first be a more important type of Lord. Then he shall become King, however his mate Banquo will have a line of Kings, though won’t be one himself. This gets Macbeth & Lady Macbeth plotting to get all the power and things get out of control. Imagine knowing about your future… In some ways, you’d think it would help. But would it really? In Macbeth’s case, it’s all open to interpretation and things go tits up.
Focusing on the film itself, it’s main strength is that it’s a film and it takes full advantage of not having the limitations a play can have visually. The beautiful castle on a beach was gorgeous yet haunting, and I would have felt cheated if they didn’t use a Scottish castle because there are soooo many beautiful ones. The fog, haze and the camera tricks were a particular delight as the characters’ senses glazed over and became less stable until we were left with visuals that are as clear as Macbeth’s sanity.
Fassbender had some excellent moments as Macbeth, and physically I think he really looks the part. He spits out those memorable lines with confidence and authority for such a huge role. Though I’m not sure ol’ Fassmember has done enough to cement himself along the long lineage of Englishmen (I know he’s not English!) who have stepped into Macbeth’s muddy shoes and performed the role of their career.
The other UK LAMB meet up attendees will already know I had issues with Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth. I found her quiet and soft, not a ‘victim’ per se but just not much to her. I completely understand that as a French actress learning what is essentially a whole other English language must be difficult, but she was the only one who didn’t attempt a Scottish accent at all and it really stood out. Especially since the Scottish are supposed to hate the English. That might be a little niggle for some, but for me it took me right out of the film.
Ultimately I thought it was well worth watching, and an excellent alternative to other films that have been released recently such as The Martian (2015) or Sicario (2015) if you fancy something a little less blockbuster-y.
Did you catch Macbeth when it was at the cinemas? Did you like it?