Tim Blake Nelson
Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles, Josh Hartnett, Martin Sheen
Special edition two-disc set; widescreen; pan & scan; closed caption; audio commentary by director Tim Blake Nelson, star Julia Stiles and cinematographer Russell Lee Fine; isolated music track; theatrical trailer; classic 1922 silent film version of "Othello," with a new score and commentary; deleted scenes; production notes.
|There are problems to be surmounted in adapting and modernizing any work by William Shakespeare. Which hasn't stopped people from trying. Undaunted, Tim Blake Nelson, the actor who played a moronic chain-gang escapee in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," directed this update of "Othello." There are stretches, but for the most part, it's canny and well done. Set in the new South, it turns the Moorish warrior/hero into the African-American star of a fancy prep school's championship-caliber basketball team. He's the sole black kid in the school, yet Odin (Mekhi Phifer), nicknamed "O," is admired and respected by his fellow students and adored by Desi (Julia Stiles of "Save the Last Dance"), the headmaster's lovely daughter. Only Odin's teammate, Hugo (Josh Hartnett), resents him. Hugo is the son of the team's rah-rah coach (Martin Sheen) and is particularly resentful of his father's paternal interest in and affection for Odin. So Hugo plots to destroy Odin by undermining the interracial romance with Desi.|