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Watch: Who’s Your Favorite Movie Hamlet?

Watch: Who's Your Favorite Movie Hamlet?

Many people have portrayed Hamlet: actors ranging from Kenneth Branagh to Kevin Kline to Ethan Hawke have tried their hand at inhabiting Shakespeare’s moody Dane. It’s not a role, though, that anyone can really claim ownership of–paradoxically, the qualities that make Hamlet a human character, namely indecisiveness and an enduring tendency to stare into the abyss of the self–are the exact qualities that make the role impossible to play without interpretation that leaves out some element of the character. My personal favorite Hamlet is Ethan Hawke’s, in Michael Almereyda’s marvelous modernized adaptation; Hawke gets at Hamlet’s weakness and simultaneous rage growing out of that weakness with memorable intensity and absorption. This piece, one of many on YouTube from the too-self-deprecatingly named JoBlo Movie Trailers which weaves different movie interpretations of Hamlet together with the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy, takes us on a grand tour of one of Shakespeare’s most bottomless creations.

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