A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to sneak into the premiere of Ralph Fiennes’ Coriolanus. Not only did he direct the film, his debut as a director I think, but he plays the lead. I’m not much of a movie luvie but my brother was invited with my wonderful sister-in-law, Susannah Fiennes, the artist. He couldn’t make it and I got the lucky ticket so I owe her a lot of favours now.
We were sitting next to the amazing Ranulph Fiennes, the famous mountain climber and then I got to cycle from cinema to after show party with Jon Snow and even had a chat with the great Ralph himself. Obviously I was star stuck and tongue tied (bit rare for me), but I’ve a feeling he may be used to that.
I’m not just blogging to show off about my new best friends (or not, since they all strangely forgot to ask for my phone number), but to tell you this is without doubt the best Shakespeare film I have ever seen. Set in modern times it starts with a pretty violent war scene, interspersed with news flashes where Jon Snow plays himself reporting on the battles, his reportage beautifully spoken in the bard’s text. This film is stunning, funny, scary and the electric performances and chemistry between Ralph and his on-screen mother, Vanessa Redgrave, is so absorbing you could have heard a pin drop.
If you happen to have older kids, its worth trying to excite them about Shakespeare with this incredible film. Bribery may be needed to get them to go but once there I would like to bet they won’t regret it. Or maybe you feel like a little mind improving entertainment as a change from the brain killing reality stuff on the TV we all love to watch these days?
I had to shut my eyes to the violence at times, but I loved the film and approved of the moral of the tale; which is (in my opinion) that all boys should listen to their mothers. And of course I do rather like our Ralph, but don’t worry I am not alone in my praise, my glowing review is endorsed by the Financial Times which gave the film a very rare top score of 5 stars.
Coriolanus on in cinemas from 20th January.