I can't see Julie Taymor's "The Tempest" when it opens today in limited release, because Indianapolis isn't on the short list. But the reviews are in, and they are disappointing. On the plus side, it makes me less frustrated about not seeing this film right away.
Here's a quick round-up of the reviews I've seen:
Marshall Fine at the Huffington Post: "Slow and grinding, Taymor's version of The Tempest would be dwarfed by any teapot she might decide to set it in."
Robert Beames at the Telegraph: "... time watching The Tempest is not wasted. Even if it is not quite the brave new world for Shakespeare at the cinema that it might have been."
A.O. Scott at the New York Times: "These ideas and others circulate through Ms. Taymor’s film, but rather than cohere into a compellingly new — or satisfyingly traditional — rendering of the play, they slosh around, generating glimmers of insight, slivers of feeling and spasms of sensation, as well as empty dazzle and frustration."
Deborah Young at the Hollywood Reporter: "Far less daring than (Taymor's) 1999 Titus, which took an electrifying, stylized approach of a lesser-known play, The Tempest in comparison looks disappointingly middle of the road."
Betsy Sharkey at the L.A. Times: "Julie Taymor, filmmaking savant of extraordinary vision and voice, suddenly and surprisingly folds. This is a tentative film and a disappointment ..."
On the other hand, Helen Mirren is getting great reviews for her performance as Prospera -- which is to be expected, considering Mirren's abilities. I will still see the movie when it opens here, but definitely with less anticipation than before.