Monday, 15 April 2013

Film Review: Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

Ever find yourself with a few weeks to spare whilst making a blockbuster movie? No, me neither, but that's exactly the situation Joss Whedon found himself in, with a fortnight break whilst completing the Avengers in 2011.
In that time Whedon gathered together his friends to form a cast, that to most would seem unattainable, and shot his own film adaptation of Shakespeare's 'Much Ado About Nothing'. The entire feature was filmed in secret in just 12 days at Whedon's home in Santa Monica.

It's refreshing to see a well known director pursue a project of passion, and then for them to realise it with such elegance is sublime.

I got a chance to see the film before its full release in June as it is showing at Bradford's 19th International Film Festival. Going in to this not the greatest fan of Shakespeare film adaptations, I was sceptical that even with a director of Whedon's calibre at the helm I would be impressed, but it was clear from the start that my scepticism was in error.

Much Ado sees Benedick (Alexis Denisof), a life-long bachelor engage in a war of wits with Beatrice (Amy Acker) on their way to a begrudging but real love. All the while another couple, Claudio(Fran Kranz) and Hero(Jillian Morgese), find their windfall romance and marriage sabotaged by a plot of lies, deception and villainy.
Whedon's adaptation keeps well to the original play with out feeling like a theatre performance in the wrong place. The combination of a modern setting with the true Shakespearean prose was done in such as way as to be comedic in parts but complimentary to each other.  It's elegant in its delivery with every scene performed fantastically. Whedons dialogue, combined with  an unbelievable cast has led to a truly stunning film.

I have no issues giving this film a 5/5. I haven't left a movie showing feeling that entertained, happy and impressed with everything I had just seen in a long time. A must see for all. 
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  1. Wow, I really must see this after your recommendation and then reading this as well.

    I'm also looking forward to The Great Gatsby, definitely a summer of film adaptations!

    1. It is, The Great Gatsby is written and directed by Baz Luhrmann who did Romeo and Juliet isn't it?