Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

​Macbeth, aka the real thing

Michael Fassbender takes on Macbeth, and pulls off an impeccable accent

Nicholas Barber | September/October 2015

For years, the British Isles have been sending likeable character actors to Hollywood – Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, James McAvoy, Gerard Butler – and for years, Hollywood has been trying to convince us that they’re actually bona-fide leading men. Sometimes, we’ve even believed it. Now, though, there is a new wave of British and Irish scene-stealers, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy and Tom Hiddleston. And whenever one of them is on screen, you think “yes, of course. That’s what a movie star is supposed to look like.”

Michael Fassbender is the leader of this pack. Pretty much unmatched in his generation for old-fashioned, square-jawed good looks, Fassbender has the lupine ferocity and the coolly menacing air to be either the hero or the villain in a spy thriller. Inevitably, he is often tipped as the next Bond, but he also has the versatility and curiosity to be in anything from Brontë adaptations to westerns to sci-fi movies, not to mention all three of Steve McQueen’s astounding dramas, “Hunger”, “Shame” and “12 Years a Slave”. Last year two of Fassbender’s films were released within days of each other: “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Frank”. One was a superhero blockbuster, the other an indie curio in which his head was encased in a beachball-sized papier-maché mask.

Now he has two more in the pipeline. In October, he plays the title role in Aaron Sorkin’s “Steve Jobs”. First, he pulls off raging insanity and an impeccable Scottish accent in Justin Kurzel’s extraordinary “Macbeth”. All the roles have in common is Fassbender’s star quality. ~ Nicholas Barber

Macbeth opens in Britain October 2nd, and in America in December

 

FILM AT A GLANCE

Legend (Sept 11th in Britain, Oct 2nd in America). Genius casting alert: the hulking Tom Hardy plays both Kray twins in Brian Helgeland’s true-crime thriller. Martin and Gary Kemp will henceforth be known as the stars of the other Kray film.
Tangerines (Sept 18th in Britain, out now on DVD in America). An Estonian carpenter tends two wounded soldiers from opposing sides in Abkhazia in 1992. Zaza Urushadze’s deeply soulful, quietly funny fable was nominated for an Oscar.
Mia Madre (Sept 25th, tbc in America). In Nanni Moretti’s graceful comedy-drama, a director struggles to shoot a film while her mother is dying. John Turturro is a treat as its bumptious American star.
Life (Sept 25th, tbc in America). Anton Corbijn, who knows all about black-and-white portraits, directs a moody docudrama about one of the most iconic: Dennis Stock’s shot of James Dean trudging through Times Square. Robert Pattinson and Dane DeHaan are touching as Stock and Dean, even if they should have swapped roles.

The Walk (Oct 2nd in Britain, Sept 30th in America). Robert Zemeckis retells the amazing story (pictured) of Philippe Petit’s unauthorised tightrope walk between the twin towers. But can he top James Marsh’s documentary, “Man on Wire”?
The Lobster (Oct 16th in Britain, tbc in America). Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz star in a horrifying black comedy from Yorgos Lanthimos, director of “Dogtooth”. Its world is half Kafka, half Python, as singletons have to find a spouse in 45 days, or turn into animals. ~ NB

Readers' comments

Sign in or Create your account to join the discussion.