When it comes to complex anti-heroes who should have ethical dilemmas but don’t, Michael Fassbender has proven himself to be our man. Like few others in cinema (contemporary or otherwise), Fassbender has the capacity to convey the longings and human frailty (failings!) driving the behavior of an otherwise impenetrable individual – for better or worse (and usually worse).
This weekend marks the opening of “Macbeth”, the latest iteration of William Shakespeare’s compelling exploration of the carnage wrought when a weak will succumbs to a lust for power. Stylistically modernized for a 21st-century audience, “Macbeth” remains aggressive, unflinching, and filled with direst cruelty just like it should be (though gentler than “Game of Thrones”, just sayin’ in case you worry when you get there).
Given its inherent nature (lots of talking with comparatively little to infer from the action), this classical telling remains arguably too dense for those new to the Bard, but anyone can get its points and it is a stunning production. Cold and barren as its principals’ souls, this one’s the real deal – awards discussion worthy all ’round, and officially calling for some real attention on Sean Harris (here as Macduff, who’s mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore, and recently our scrumptious megalomaniac of “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”).
Front and center, of course, is Michael Fassbender in the titular role, his third morally ambiguous character of 2015. His first of the year we find in Silas Selleck of “Slow West” (a little gem from springtime that seems ordinary at first until hits you between the eyes and stays with you for days), and of course the second we find in Steve Jobs (‘nuff said).
In all three men, Fassbender gives us a portrait in the meaning of life and one’s own destiny within it – whether it’s to not die, rule the country, or make a dent in the universe. Each man begins with a sense of his place in the world and what he desires to do about that, spots his path to glory and pursues it with steely resolve and a cavalier disregard of the lives consumed in its service, and emerges with a fresh realization of what meaning his life can hold based on who he truly is – for better or worse (and sometimes both).
‘Slow West’: A Lonely Man Clip
Slow West: A Lonely Man Clip – Slow West follows a 16-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveller Silas.
Movie Trailer: ‘Steve Jobs’
Watch the newest film trailer for “Steve Jobs,” starring Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet and Seth Rogen. Photo: Universal Pictures
Exclusive ‘Macbeth’ Clip: Michael Fassbender’s Mind Is Full of Scorpions
In this clip from the new take on the dark Shakespeare tale, Macbeth and his wife (Marion Cotillard) plan their next bloody act.