Sometimes, critics can be harsh, especially if they’re your siblings. A review of The Tragedy of Macbeth, the new drama movie directed by Joel Coen, has surfaced credited to Ethan Coen on They Might Be Wrong, and he doesn’t mince words.
Getting the obvious out of the way, Ethan points out the potential for bias in being Joel’s brother and creative partner. However, he assures us all “entirely capable of reviewing [Joel’s] work in a fair and objective way”. To kick-off, Ethan regards The Tragedy of Macbeth as Joel’s “shittiest movie”, before comparing it to a rather large pile of elephant excrement – whatever you’re imagining, it’s more than that. Ethan pontificates about what might be missing that the rest of Joel’s filmography, which contains several of the best movies ever made, is a talent itself. Ouch!
Adapting Shakespeare is used to illustrate that perhaps Joel latches onto greater creative forces than himself, and piggybacks on their abilities. The decision to use black-and-white is regarded as either pretentious or a sign of ill-informed decision making. “Fucking moron,” Ethan writes.
Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand are the leads, and their performances are praised. Although, at this point Ethan starts getting personal on the matter, first shamelessly pointing out that McDormand is “dragged down” by someone who was slagged in school for some awkward defecation. Rough.
Then we veer into a personal grudge involving a Lite-Brite from 1963. At the risk of getting involved in a brotherly rivalry, it’s come to our attention Lite-Brites weren’t available until 1967. Sometimes it pays to fact-check our own recollections of events.
The review is rounded off by likening the Tragedy of Macbeth to “lizard jizz”, before it gets a half-star out of five. Hardcore. Regardless of who wrote this piece, it’s a damning piece of negative critical analysis that leaves one much to ponder on cinema.