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Original title
Running time
112 min.
United States United States
Michael Almereyda (Play: William Shakespeare)
Carter Burwell
John de Borman
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Drama | Independent Film (US)
Movie Groups
Shakespeare: Hamlet
Synopsis / Plot
Almereyda's adaptation of Hamlet, contemporarily set and scored, structurally abridged to fit the post-modern expectation. Set in New York City in 2000, the drama begins with an announcement of the death of the king and CEO of Denmark Corporation. Ensconced in his fancy apartment high above the city, Hamlet (Ethan Hawke) broods over the news. At a press conference, his sexy mother Gertrude (Diane Venora) reveals her upcoming marriage to Claudius (Kyle MacLachlan), a slick corporate wheeler-dealer on the fast track.

Hamlet's friend Horatio (Karl Geary) reports that a ghost has been picked up by the building's surveillance cameras. Soon Hamlet's father (Sam Shepard) is in his apartment with a tale of betrayal and great evil to tell. Convinced that he must act swiftly to avenge his father's murder, Hamlet must first deal with Ophelia (Julia Stiles) whose father Polonius (Bill Murray) has enlisted her in service of Claudius. The moody protagonist must also play a game of cat and mouse with Rosencrantz (Steve Zahn) and Guildenstern (Dechen Thurman), who bear him ill will. The final confrontation between Hamlet and Ophelia's brother Laertes (Liev Schreiber) takes place on a penthouse roof.
2000: National Board of Review (NBR): Won Special Recognition Award (for excellence in filmaking)
2000: Independent Spirit Awards: Nominated for Best Cinematography
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