24 Frames

Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Coriolanus

'Coriolanus,' 'We Need to Talk About Kevin': Betsy Sharkey's picks

January 25, 2012 |  5:50 pm


"Coriolanus" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin" -- two exceptional dramas that dropped in briefly in December to qualify for Oscar consideration -- are back in theaters for their real run. And they are certainly worth your consideration as well.

On the one hand there is "Coriolanus," Ralph Fiennes’ modern-day take on Shakespeare’s great war story with its brash mix of fighting, politics, economics and clashing egos.

Fiennes has proven to be as superb a director as an actor; he does both in "Coriolanus." With a talent-packed cast that includes Vanessa Redgrave, Gerard Butler and Jessica Chastain and a truly exceptional Brian Cox, it’s a sprawling story filled with big ideas and bigger action, and definitely worth the big screen.

On a more intimate level, there is the tragedy of Greek proportions with its family betrayals and loyalties stretched to the breaking point in "We Need to Talk About Kevin." It features yet another searing performance by Tilda Swinton, one of the top actresses working in the field today, and a fine job by the talented teenager Ezra Miller.

They play mother and son in this dark, stark disaster. Saturated with despair, it is not easy watching, but it couldn’t be more affecting. Sometimes you just have to let a film break your heart.


Betsy Sharkey's best film picks of 2011

The thrill of 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy'

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo': Wow

-- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times film critic

Ralph Fiennes on which movie he can't wait to see next

November 22, 2011 |  7:24 pm

British actor Ralph Fiennes, who stalked theaters earlier this year as the dark wizard Lord Voldemort in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2," returns to the silver screen in the coming weeks to make his film directing debut with "Coriolanus." In the adaptation of the Shakespeare play, Fiennes also costars as a banished general  who seeks revenge on his own country.

Fiennes recently told 24 Frames which of his peers' films he's anticipating most this award season, and like "Coriolanus," it's a tale of opposing nations, intrigue and betrayal:

"I'm really looking forward to seeing Gary Oldman in 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.' I love Gary Oldman's work. I just think he's a genius actor and I long to see him in a heavyweight role."

In "Tinker, Tailor," which opens Dec. 9, Oldman plays a veteran British spy hunting a Soviet mole within the intelligence agency MI6. The film is based on the 1974 novel by John le Carre. "Coriolanus," meanwhile, opens Dec. 2 in Los Angeles and New York for a one-week Oscar-qualifying run ahead of a Jan. 20 nationwide release.

Which film or performance are you most looking forward to this season? Is it Fiennes' first time in the director's chair, Oldman's heavyweight return or something else altogether? Let us know in the comments.


An Oscar for Vanessa Redgrave in 'Coriolanus'?

George Clooney reveals his favorite films of the year

Tim Bevan, Robyn Slovo talk about 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

— Oliver Gettell

Photo: Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler in "Coriolanus." Credit: Larry D. Horricks / The Weinstein Co.


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