Dallas Movie Screening

Dallas Movie Screenings started out as a mailing list on Yahoo Groups to facilitate finding free screening passes in the DFW area. When Yahoo Groups shut down, we are now posting screenings on our Facebook page at http://www..facebook.com/groups/dallasmoviescreenings
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Tempest

Julie Taymor best known as the director of the stage play The Lion King and the movies Across the Universe and Frida tackles Shakespeare's by changing the lead role of Prospero to a woman and the wispy Ariel is mostly FX. Gathering a star studded cast of Helen Mirren, David Strathairn, Chris Cooper, Alan Cumming, Tom Conti, Djimon Hounsou, Alfred Molina and Russel Brand has the potential to made Taymor's adaptation more than just a curiosity.

Propera (Helen Mirren) had been shipwrecked with her four year old daughter Miranda after fleeing from Milan when her husband the Duke died. Her position was usurped with the help of the King of Naples Alonso (David Strathairn) and her brother Antonio (Chris Cooper) who claimed power by declaring his sister a witch. For twelve years Prospera raised Miranda with only a slave Callban, who was the son of the witch Sycorax and was already living on the island. Prospera has become both father and mother to the now grown up Miranda (FelicityJones). When the King's ship sails closely to her island Prospera uses her mystical powers to brew a tempest to force her enemies to land unharmed. She uses her sprite Ariel (Ben Whishaw) to aid in guiding the King, his brother Sebastian (Alan Cummings), Antonio and his adviser Gonzalo (Tom Conti) who had helped Prospera escape. Sebastian and Antonio plot to kill the King so his brother can take his place but is thwarted by Ariel. Meanwhile the King's butler Stephano (Alfred Molina) and the jester Trinculo (Russell Brand) meet up with Callban who they offer liquor. Callban wanting to be rid of Prospera's control plots with the two clowns to rule the island with his help. If that wasn't enough happening, Prospera orchestrates the meeting of Alfonso's son Fredinand (Reeve Carney) and Miranda who outside of Callban has never seen another person. They are immediately smitten. Ariel willingly does Prospera's bidding with the promise of freedom when all is said and done.

Shakespeare's story of love, honor, revenge and forgiveness is played out in a harsh but luscious landscape. Taymor's sets and costumes are visually appealing and beautifully eclectic. Only the appearance of Brand dressed and acting like he does in most movies, is in contrast to the period armor worn my the King and his men. The dialogue is made palatable by the caliber of thespians making it easy to grasp when you can understand their accents. It was especially difficult on the wind swept ship making it almost inaudible. This will probably be a popular way to introduce high school students to Shakespeare's with the comedic Brand and Molina, but for those not too familiar with this genre will not likely flock to see it.
(Review by reesa)

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