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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Tragedy of Macbeth

In theaters on Christmas Day / Streaming on Apple TV+ starting January 14 / Film & TV

For those still fearful of in-person theater, fret not: Joel Coen’s The Tragedy of Macbeth has it all. A creepy atmosphere, a star-studded and phenomenal cast, and a unique twist, something that most film adaptations of Shakespeare miss. The play tells the story of Macbeth’s ruthless accession to the Scottish throne, egged on by a strange prophecy and his scheming wife. Coen, in his first solo directing and writing project away from his brother, Ethan, keeps Shakespeare’s language intact while tweaking a few elements of the story to add his own thoughtful spin. Denzel Washington plays Macbeth with a measured and masterful intensity, while Frances McDormand’s performance as Lady Macbeth wondrously displays a descent into madness. Coen has lifted Shakespeare to the big screen with remarkable style and atmosphere. —Jacob Robbins

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