Coriolanus (2011) - Synopsis

CORIOLANUS is the explosive directorial debut of Ralph Fiennes, which premiered to great acclaim earlier this year at the Berlin Film Festival. Set against the backdrop of a republic caught up in a long and bitter war, Fiennes’s CORIOLANUS is a tense and timeless thriller based around power broking, political manipulation and the arguments and prejudices of opposing social extremes.

Caius Martius “Coriolanus” (Ralph Fiennes), a feared Roman General is at odds with the city of Rome and his fellow citizens. Pushed by his controlling and ambitious mother “Volumnia” (Vanessa Redgrave) to seek the exalted and powerful position of Consul, he is loath to ingratiate himself with the masses whose votes he needs in order to secure the office. When the public refuse to support him, Coriolanus’s anger prompts a riot which culminates in his expulsion from Rome. The banished hero then allies himself with his sworn enemy “Tullus Aufidius” (Gerard Butler) to take his revenge on the city.

Mixing the classical and the contemporary, CORIOLANUS retains Shakespeare’s language, but boldy combines it with modern technology and a contemporary environment, to enhance the visceral quality of the original story. Shot in Belgrade, Serbia, CORIOLANUS reunites Fiennes with cinematographer Barry Ackroyd and sound mixer Ray Beckett following their BAFTA and Oscar success with The Hurt Locker. Joining Fiennes, Butler and Redgrave is fellow stage and screen veteran Brian Cox (as Coriolanus’s political mentor “Menenius”) alongside Jessica Chastain (The Tree of Life) as Coriolanus’s wife “Virgilia”, and James Nesbitt (Bloody Sunday) as a conspiratorial politician, “Sicinius”.

CORIOLANUS is produced by Fiennes along with Gabrielle Tana (The Duchess), Julia Taylor-Stanley (The Tempest), Colin Vaines (The Young Victoria) and writer John Logan (BAFTA and Oscar nominee for Gladiator and The Aviator), who has adapted Shakespeare’s historical tragedy for the screen.

CORIOLANUS will be released by Lionsgate UK on 20 January 2012.