O: Synopsis

Tim Blake Nelson's "O" is a story of treachery and tragedy based on Shakespeare's classic play "Othello." Mekhi Phifer, Julia Stiles and Josh Harnett star in this tale of romantic love, jealousy, betrayal and revenge that has spanned the centuries.

While he opens his film on the basketball court at a boarding school in the New South instead of an ancient battlefield, Nelson does not soften his hero's flaws, his villain's capacity for pure evil or the play's original bloody ending. In this contemporary retelling, both the great and the ignoble fall prey to jealousy, and Nelson offers a clear illustration of how the impact that an absent father, peer pressure and the tweaking of drugs can combine to fatally twist promising lives and minds and consign once bright futures to lifelong regret. The timeliness of the play's themes is as relevant as it is alarming.

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