(Andrew Dickson’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/20.)

The release of Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth, starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, has sent critics into a frenzy. Peter Bradshaw praised the movie’s “operatic verve”; Variety called it “fearsomely visceral”. Awarding the film five stars, the Telegraph asked: “Is this as good as Shakespeare on film gets?

As Mark Lawson pointed out recently, the answer to that last is the same one that greets most questions that crop up in headlines: probably not. He then suggested a top 10 of Bardic films, which put the new Macbeth in at No 5 – above Ralph Fiennes (Coriolanus) and Marlon Brando (Julius Caesar), but trumped by Baz Luhrmann and Kenneth Branagh. Controversially, Olivier didn’t even make the cut.


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