Julie Taymor's "Tempest" | Bleader

Julie Taymor's "Tempest"

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Helen Mirren stars as the gender-switched sorcerer Prospera in this take on Shakespeare's The Tempest by unparalleled visual stylist Julie Taymor (Frida, Titus).

Mirren, the exiled ruler of Milan, conjures a storm that washes her enemies (Alan Cumming, Chris Cooper) ashore on the deserted island where she presides, plotting to steal back the throne for her daughter (Felicity Jones). With Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, Ben Whishaw, David Stathairn, and noted titan of classical theater Russell Brand.

Robert Beames writes in The Telegraph that Mirren is "at the peak of her powers...and arms her Prospera with a gravitas and intensity which is at the centre of all this film's successes." On the other hand, Beames calls Brand's performance "a pastiche of Captain Jack Sparrow intended for a Royal Variety performance."

The Tempest has its Chicago premiere Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Chicago International Film Festival at River East 21, 322 E. Illinois St. Cumming is scheduled to be there. $13; $10 Cinema Chicago Members.

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