Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Tempest (2010)

Shakespeare's epic play is translated from page to screen, with the gender of the main character, Prospero, changed from male to female. [imdb]

Nominated for 1 Oscar:

Best Costume Design

This was, I think, the only Oscar nominated film I didn't get to see in time for my annual AIM Awards. Having seen it now, I can't say I've missed too much, and it would've definitely not made any of my lists. With the major box-office failure of this, and the failure of Spider-Man on Broadway, 2010 really hasn't been much of a year for director Julie Taymor.

The Tempest sure has a style of its own, and I appreciated that. But the occasional flashy style and Ben Whishaw as Ariel, the spirit (he's unusually erotic with this performance) are the only elements of the film to go above average. Helen Mirren is ok, but the role is not challenging enough. And the worst is how boring the film is - I couldn't care less about the characters, and there's only so much of Shakesperean language I can take when there's no major plot to carry the weight.

And don't get me started on Sandy Powell's costumes... Sure, some are fabulous, but at one point the young man was wearing what looked like black jeans and undershirt... Really, Sandy, I know it's part fantasy, but why make him look so L.A.?!

My rating for the film: 3.5/10. A film I could definitely live without. They should make one all about Whishaw's spirit.


  1. I really am the only person who liked this. Intense and moving it got the balance of comedy and tension right and the casting Mirren was an inspired choice (even though it didn't completely work).

  2. I despise this film.

    Mirren was good, but almost treated as supporting character.

    The "style" was heavily annoying, Ben Whishaw is creepy and not in a good way, the young lovers are masterpieces of wooden acting, the other actors act their ass off, but definitely looks too ridiculous to take seriously and too poetic to even care for, the first hour is a torture to watch, but somehow entertains in the last half hour.

    This whole movie is a pathetic excuse for movie watching, save Helen Mirren's dignified performance.

  3. well, Malcolm, I didn't hate it as much. It just didn't hold my interest.

    Ben, yes you seem to stand alone on this. :)