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Titus (1999)

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Anthony Hopkins, Jessica Lange, more...
Director: Julie Taymor, Julie Taymor
    see all cast/crew...
Rating:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Drama, Costume Drama/Period Piece, Shakespeare, Quest, Revenge
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish
    see additional details...

Synopsis
One of William Shakespeare's lesser-known plays, Titus Andronicus was staged in New York by award-winning theatrical director Julie Taymor in an acclaimed 1995 production, before her widely praised Broadway version of The Lion King. Taymor revisits that production for her first motion picture, with the addition of a star-studded cast. Roman General Titus Andronicus (Anthony Hopkins) has returned from defeating the Goths in a bloody battle, but the victory has left him with mixed feelings, as the war took the lives of several of his sons. Titus is reminded by his first-born son Lucius (Angus Macfadyen) that their faith demands the sacrifice of an enemy prisoner as a gift to the gods for their victory. Titus chooses the eldest son of Tamora (Jessica Lange), the Queen of the Goths, who has since been taken hostage by Titus's troops. Tamora pleads for her son's life, but Titus goes ahead with the sacrifice. She then becomes the lover of the new emperor of Rome, Saturninus (Alan Cumming), a weak-willed and corrupt man. Tamora uses her connection to the throne for her own ends: in retaliation for the death of her son, Tamora and her surviving sons, Chiron (Jonathan Rhys Myers) and Demetrius (Matthew Rhys), brutally rape Titus's beloved daughter, Lavinia (Laura Fraser). This act sets in motion an ever-tightening spiral of revenge and retaliation that leaves few of the participants unscathed. The supporting cast includes Colm Feore as Marcus, Harry Lennix as Aaron, and James Frain as Bassianus. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Please note that this disc contains the movie. If you'd like to see the bonus disc, please rent Titus: Bonus Disc.


GreenCine Member Ratings

Titus (1999)
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7.12 (207 votes)
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Titus (Bonus Disc) (1999)
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6.72 (18 votes)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

GLORIOUS! by evilcupcakes June 10, 2004 - 5:54 PM PDT
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5 out of 5 members found this review helpful
YES! This is what film making should be about! A very brilliant and original adaptation of Shakespeare that is at once modern yet timeless. This film is so mind blowingly lush and sensual that it can even make the mutilation of Lavinia an act of vulgar poetry. Alan Cumming is perfect as the Caligula-esque Saturninus, Anthony Hopkins is great as the beleaguered warrior Titus. Jessica Lange was, well, Jessica Lange, which is a good thing, but I didn't find her as engaging in her roll as I did the other actors for reasons I can't quite express. This tale of the price of vengeance is one of Shakespeare's buried treasures, which is odd because for some reason I find it to be the one I feel was somehow his most personal work. I think Taymor manages to utilize the sadistic glee of the tale without sacrificing the very human sorrow at the core of it. Great costumes, great direction, great sets, great acting, it's all there. If you haven't seen this you MUST!

Accessible Shakespeare by squad June 8, 2004 - 7:53 PM PDT
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4 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I took a chance on "Titus", wanting to expand my film experience so my expectations were not high. My reaction now, this is one intense film. I used the English subtitles because of unfamiliarity with Shakespeare, so consider this review in the light of my inexperience. First, I think actors like Shakespeare because it gives them free expressive reign. Which leads to my second impression which is that a film like this is produced for the love of the art, and film people invest. Third, passion unrestrained, beyond limit which grips the viewer's attention. I didn't have a problem with the mixed scenery (ancient and modern), because I generally do not like period costume movies, and "Titus" was anything but. Ah, one more thing, the violence in this film is more suggested than depicted. Compare "Musa: The Warrior", a Korean film for a comparison of graphic vs. suggested violence. In "Musa" when a limb is severed you get the whole image. In "Titus", as I said, there is the suggestion and the aftermath. Perhaps that is what makes this such a great film because the plot and dialog are in themselves so fearsome. So now I know to some extent why Shakespeare is unparalleled. I was stunned by this film.

Visually fascinating, violently disturbing. by sangretoro February 14, 2004 - 3:32 PM PST
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2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
Gorgeous and powerful imagery. Taymor very successfully creates a surreal iconography all her own. The relentless hideousness of Shakespeare's play is difficult to sit through.

More reviews for titles in this product:


Shakespeare on DVD at GreenCine, annotated
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It's hard to search for Shakespeare plays, so this list as of 12/07 may help. Alphabetized by main word in title; renamed adaptations such as Throne of Blood are mentioned but not listed. To see GC's own list, click any 'Shakespeare'-as-genre link.
kaream
Poetry in film
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Where a genre and medium collide
chadstep

see all lists

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