After hundreds of years of adoration and interpretation, tackling Shakespeare is daunting for any production. However, the tragedy of the Thane of Cawdor turned King of Scotland is the directorial equivalent of walking into fire. Notoriously bad luck, the story is a mystical political thriller, murder plot, and historical drama. More time separated Shakespeare from the historical Macbeth than separates us from Shakespeare. The play was performed on a 44’ by 27’ stage. To capture that spatial limitation the film is shot on sets with minimalist architecture that cuts shapes and angles across a spare background so the characters seem to wander through an Escher drawing.
What do Beyoncé, cowboys, and Godzilla have in common? Other than whopping box office returns, the answer is the distinctive and innovative costumes of Sharen Davis. Her costume design moves seamlessly between genres, from Westerns to science fiction, and every decade of the 20th century. Davis deals in hyperbole like it’s an everyday language. She took Django (Jamie Foxx) from chains and rags to Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) burgundy suit in a move so brash that the movie itself stops to take a moment and appreciate it. Beyoncé time traveled right into her glittering gowns in Dreamgirls. She took Westworld from cowboys to samurai to the not-too-distant future.