Much Ado About Nothing

( 21 )

Overview

Actor Kenneth Branagh made his directorial debut with a rousing screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry V. Four years later, he returns to the bard's work with this lively version of one of Shakespeare's best comedies. Don Pedro Denzel Washington, the Prince of Aragon, returns victorious from battle to the praises of the Governor of Messina, Leonato Richard Briers. One of Don Pedro's bravest men, Claudio Robert Sean Leonard, falls in love with Hero Kate Beckinsale, Leonato's daughter, and they plan to ...
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Overview

Actor Kenneth Branagh made his directorial debut with a rousing screen adaptation of William Shakespeare's Henry V. Four years later, he returns to the bard's work with this lively version of one of Shakespeare's best comedies. Don Pedro Denzel Washington, the Prince of Aragon, returns victorious from battle to the praises of the Governor of Messina, Leonato Richard Briers. One of Don Pedro's bravest men, Claudio Robert Sean Leonard, falls in love with Hero Kate Beckinsale, Leonato's daughter, and they plan to marry. However, Don Pedro's devious half-brother Don John Keanu Reeves opposes the match, and he devises a plan to turn Hero against Claudio. Meanwhile, Benedict Branagh, Don Pedro's second-in-command, detests Leonato's niece Beatrice Emma Thompson, but Don Pedro cleverly brings them together by making each think that the other is secretly in love with them. Much Ado About Nothing also features Michael Keaton in a showy turn as Dogberry.
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Special Features

Making Ado About Nothing featurette; Theatrical trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
A slightly streamlined but mostly charming adaptation of Shakespeare's romantic comedy, transplanted to a sunny Tuscan villa, featuring an all-star cast. Reinterpreted by writer-director-star Kenneth Branagh, the story is wonderfully updated to include color-blind casting (Denzel Washington and Keanu Reeves play brothers) and real-life pairings (Branagh and co-star Emma Thompson were married at the time) that actually work in service of the film instead of drawing attention away from it. Comprised of the director's earmark attention to detail and flights of fancy, the film found a significant audience and paved the way for more screen adaptations of Shakespeare's comedies by other filmmakers. This effort continued Branagh's fascination with the Bard on celluloid, after his extraordinary filmization of Henry V in 1989, and proved that he could switch gears from heavy drama to light comedy with the surest of hands.
Washington Post - Desson Howe
Director Branagh, who altered the play imaginatively for the screen, gives wonderful import to this silliness from long ago.
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert
The key to the film's success is in the acting, especially in the sparks that fly between Branagh and Thompson.

The key to the film's success is in the acting, especially in the sparks that fly between Branagh and Thompson.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/5/2011
  • UPC: 883904233329
  • Original Release: 1993
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20Th Century Fox
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:51:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 5,023

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kenneth Branagh Benedick
Michael Keaton Dogberry
Robert Sean Leonard Claudio
Keanu Reeves Don John
Emma Thompson Beatrice
Denzel Washington Don Pedro
Richard Briers Seigneur Leonato, Governor of Messina
Kate Beckinsale Hero
Brian Blessed Seigneur Antonio
Richard Clifford Conrade
Ben Elton Verges
Gerard Horan Borachio
Phyllida Law Ursula
Imelda Staunton Margaret
Jimmy Yuill Friar Francis
Andy Hockley George Seacole
Chris Barnes Francis Seacole
Alex Lowe Messenger
Patrick Doyle Balthasar
Alex Scott Servant to Benedick
Edward Jewesbury Sexton
Technical Credits
Kenneth Branagh Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Martin Childs Art Director
Phyllis Dalton Costumes/Costume Designer
Patrick Doyle Score Composer
Paul Engelen Makeup
Stephen Evans Producer
Tim Harvey Production Designer
Roger Lanser Cinematographer
Andrew Marcus Editor
L. Justin Muller Asst. Director
Christopher Newman Asst. Director
David Parfitt Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 4, 2012

    Thompson and Branagh are brilliantly brittle as the sparring, to

    Thompson and Branagh are brilliantly brittle as the sparring, too-smart-for-their-own-good Beatrice and Benedick. In most respects this is one of the most satisfying realizations of Shakespeare on film that I've seen. The one really big fly in the ointment is the gross miscasting of Michael Keaton as Dogberry: a role that is traditionally interpreted as a charmingly daft elderly man. Keaton's scenery-chewing performance distracts and detracts from the rest of the movie significantly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Beautifully filmed.

    This film made me want to book a trip to Italy. Robert Sean Leonard seems terribly immature, which I think is exactly the point. Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, and Kate Beckinsale were great. Branagh and Thompson were great fun to watch. It's too bad they won't likely do another film together. Keanu Reeves was an odd casting choice. He was truly terrible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    excellent despite some poor casting

    I loved this movie despite the poor casting of Keanu Reeves and Michael Keaton. Conversely, the casting of Denzel Washington was ideal and I enjoyed his performance so much. I think Kenneth Branagh is a great talent and wish I could see more of him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    ...and yet it is SO entertaining!

    An excellent film played to perfection by a strong, balanced cast. Beautiful scenery, beautiful people, beautiful Shakespeare. Watch it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Sumptuous Film

    This is a great film. A great feel-good film. Great locations, great acting, great scale. Whether you like Shakespeare or not, this is a film for all the family to enjoy over and over again.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews