Young lovers Hero and Claudio are to be married in one week. To pass the time, they conspire with Don Pedro to set a "lover's trap" for Benedick, an arrogant confirmed bachelor, and Beatrice, his favorite sparring partner. Meanwhile, the evil Don Jon conspires to break up the wedding by accusing Hero of infidelity. In the end, though, it all turns out to be "much ado about nothing."Written by
Liza Esser <email@example.com>
Set in Messina, Sicily, but filmed in Chianti, Florence, Tuscany, Italy. See more »
Except for those in the foreground in one run of shots, the lanterns at the masked ball are lit by electric light bulbs. These were not invented at the time of the action. See more »
Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. Men were deceivers ever. One foot in sea and one on shore, to one thing constant never. Then sigh not so but let them go and be you blithe and bonny, converting all your sounds of woe into hey nonny nonny.
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Unlike some people, I'm not letting Keanu Reeves' "acting" ruin this film for me. He has such a small part, and I'm sure Branagh was fully aware of what he was doing when he cast wooden Reeves to play a wooden role. Reeves is indeed the one substandard thing about this film, but even so, it somehow works (Reeves' role, I mean). This film is about rapt joy and ebullient vitality, and Reeves' flatness creates precisely the contrast that makes his character stand out as totally unfit for the world presented in the film, just as the beginning of Richard III establishes Richard as unfit for *his* times (only, he had enough cunning and opportunity to really foul things up!). There is no mistake, neither on the Bard's nor Branagh's part, in casting Reeves as Don John.
Having gotten that out of the way, I'd just like to say that this is my favorite Shakespeare film ever. It is perfect in virtually every way, and I think Branagh displays a marvelous and rare understanding of the textual material. This is an immortal classic that I've seen a dozen times and that I am certain I will continue to watch on a regular basis for the rest of my life.
10 out of 10.
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