Coriolanus (film)

Status: NOW ON DVD

Film/TV/Stage: Film

Genre: Drama/Thriller

Release Year: 2011

Director: Ralph Fiennes

Running time: 122 Minutes

Rating: R




Coriolanus will be a modern day version of Shakespeare’s tragedy – based on the life of the legendary Roman leader, Gaius Martius Coriolanus.

A contemporary version of Shakespeare’s dangerous political thriller.

In the eleven years since Ralph Fiennes triumphantly trod the boards in London and New York as Coriolanus, the celebrated English actor has been driven by the notion of bringing Shakespeare’s visceral history play to the big screen for the first time — so driven, in fact, that Coriolanus also marks his debut as a director. Bringing to that role the same fierce intelligence and passion that he does to his work in front of the camera, Fiennes crafts an indelible portrait of the banished Roman general who allies himself with his sworn enemy to take revenge on the city that rejected him.

Shakespeare’s tale of rivalries, civil unrest and betrayal in ancient Rome portrays war as an eternal human drama. So it’s fitting that Fiennes sets his film in contemporary Europe, with real Serbian soldiers blended into a cast of actors that includes Vanessa Redgrave, Brian Cox, Gerard Butler and Jessica Chastain (fresh from her remark­able performance as the mother in Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life). The contemporary setting allows Fiennes to interject one cru­cial aspect of warfare today: mass media. Here, it punctuates the action with a baleful chorus of cable news commentary.

To capture both the disorientation of battle and the inner clamour of the drama’s hero, Fiennes’ inspired choice of cinematog­rapher is Barry Ackroyd (Green Zone and The Hurt Locker, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award®). With Coriolanus, Fiennes and Ackroyd create visual rhythms that are both propulsive and hypnotic, with deft hand-held camera work and bold close-ups. Coriolanus is a drama for the ages, a commentary on the seductions of war and an auspicious directorial debut from one of the world’s great classical actors.



Ralph Fiennes…Coriolanus

Gerard Butler…Tullus Aufidius

Vanessa Redgrave…Volumnia

Jessica Chastain


Director: Ralph Fiennes

Producers: Julia Taylor-Stanley, Gabrielle Tana, Ralph Fiennes, John Logan

Screenplay: John Logan from the play by William Shakespeare

Director Of Photography: Barry Ackroyd

Production Designer: Mark Geraghty




This project is Ralph Fiennes’ directorial debut.

The movie was filmed in Serbia. Coriolanus was shot on thirty-odd different locations in Belgrade (Pancevo, Parliament of Serbia, Dorcol, railway depot in Rakovica, Kalenic open-air market, the motorway), while one scene was also shot in Montenegro.

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