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An Oscar for Vanessa Redgrave in 'Coriolanus'?

August 11, 2011 |  2:39 pm


In Contention's Guy Lodge is tub-thumping hard for Vanessa Redgrave to get a supporting actress Oscar nomination for "Coriolanus." She portrays the mother of Shakespeare's revenge-wreaking Roman general in a modern update starring Ralph Fiennes, who also makes his directorial debut.

Lodge gave the film three stars after seeing it at the Berlin Film Festival, and he admires Fiennes' dual contributions, but he absolutely gushes over Redgrave, saying, "It's safe to say she hasn't had a big-screen showcase this generous since 'Howards End' nearly 20 years ago, and still, her work here outstrips that for difficulty and magnitude …. Just listening to the richly controlled tremors and modulations in her voice as she powers her way through a titanic final monologue — turning her son’s political persuasions through reams of exquisite language — is enough to raise hairs on the back of your hands; all too rare are the opportunities to watch our greatest actors wrestle such material on screen."

"Coriolanus" will be seen next at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Meantime, the British trailer has just been released. Unfortunately, it doesn't include much of Redgrave.

Redgrave won best supporting actress for "Julia" (1978) and she's been nominated five other times: once for supporting actress ("Howards End" in 1992) and four times for lead actress ("The Bostonians" in 1984, "Mary Queen of Scots" in 1971, "Isadora" in 1968, "Morgan" in 1966).


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-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Ralph Fiennes and Vanessa Redgrave in "Coriolanus." Credit: Weinstein Co.