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Julie Taymor’s “The Tempest” earns mixed reviews in New York

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: After a rocky reception at the Venice Film Festival – where InContention’s Guy Lodge called it “murky, lunk-headed and signally boring” http://incontention.com/2010/09/11/review-“the-tempest”/ — Julie Taymor’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” had it’s North American debut this weekend as the centerpiece film for the 48th annual New York Film Festival.

The reviews were equally mixed.

On CinemaBlend, Katey Rich writes that Taymor’s film “is as noisy and frantic as the storm of the title, but with virtually nothing to add to the Shakespeare’s original, beguiling work.”

Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine gives the film two stars out of four, stating, “Julie Taymor’s new film version of ‘The Tempest’ isn’t as disastrous as it could have been, though it does fundamentally fail Shakespeare’s play.”

And Cinematical’s Jenni Miller says the film looks “gorgeous,” but adds that “more often than not, [it] fumbles.”

The most favorable review I could find seemed to be Peter Gutierrez for TwitchFilm, who says the film is “interesting without feeling inspired, ‘creative’ but hardly magical,” and says the movie “is apt to be a hit in certain high school classrooms.”

Does that mean the film’s Oscar chances are doomed? Did “The Tempest” have Oscar chances, to begin with? The cast – which includes Helen Mirren, Russell Brand and Alfred Molina — could have carried “Tempest” into the Oscar spotlight. But now, that seems unlikely.

“The Tempest” is expected to open wide in December.

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