How Joel Coen and Bruno Delbonnel Breathed New Life Into “Macbeth,” 400 Years Later

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By Daniel Eagan Denzel Washington strides forward, stares straight at the camera and delivers an order: “Speak, if you can. What are you?” It’s a grey day, and Macbeth is standing with his adjutant Banquo on a beach somewhere, we’re not exactly sure. What is clear is that three witches are about to seal his fate. They are played by Kathryn Hunter in a performance that is emotionally and visually spellbinding. It’s one of several astonishing moments in an endlessly surprising film. With The Tragedy of Macbeth, director Joel Coen and cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel cracked a code that has baffle…

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