When I first heard that Marion Cotillard would replace Natalie Portman as Lady MacBeth in the upcoming Scottish movie, I was disappointed. I don’t really know anything about Ms. Cotillard, and I don’t really care all that much about acting ability(*) – I just think that Natalie Portman’s presence tends to bring a very large young adult male following into the theatres, and I thought Macbeth would be a good place to do that.
Apparently Ms. Cotillard is a big fan of Shakespeare already, and dreamed of playing Lady M — just not in the original text.
“Horrors!” you say, “What’s she want to do, a modern language adaptation? Sacrilege!”
That’s an angle I’ve never imagined. English is not your native language, and yet you still grow up with a love of Shakespeare so strong that you dream of playing his greatest characters. In *your* native tongue, rather than his. As if that’s how they were intended to be played (insert obligatory “heard them in the original Klingon” reference here). How is that different from reading just a plain old modern translation? After all, either you’re reading Shakespeare (or what you’ve always come to think of as Shakespeare), or you’re not. So isn’t the “not” version always just a shallow copy? Does that mean that Ms. Cotillard will be disappointed in the English version of the works?