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.

Watch: The 2015 Oscar Nominees in Their Early Roles: A Video Homage

Watch: The 2015 Oscar Nominees in Their Early Roles: A Video Homage

We are, at times, blissfully naive about our favorite actors. It’s easy, when watching someone perform brilliantly onscreen, to imagine that they sprang forth fully formed, talents intact. And yet… this new Flavorwire video on the 2015 Oscar nominees by Jason Bailey indicates otherwise. Exhibit A: Julianne Moore in Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990). Exhibit B: Michael Keaton, on the show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (1977). Exhibit C: Patricia Arquette on the show thirtysomething (1990). And the list goes on. Robert Duvall, Mark Ruffalo, Ethan Hawke, Eddie Redmayne, Keira Knightley… All of these actors had to start somewhere–and it’s fascinating to watch the transformation-in-reverse in this video.