Much Ado About Nothing: Joss Whedon Gets Shakespeare Right

Posted: August 5, 2013 in Movies

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One thing the Joss Whedon version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing gets right that the 1993 Kenneth Branagh version missed is the whole screwball style of the action.  Filmed in the luxurious expanse of the Whedon domestic domicile (eg Home) with actors that have populated other  Whedon ventures (Nathan Fillion and Clark Gregg from Firefly and the Avengers being the primary two) the whole film echoes with a cozy familiarity that allows the whiplash changes from comedy to tragedy and back again to flow at the proper Shakespearean pace.  If the dialogue is a little slower at times than your typical screwball conversation that is because Shakespearean is an accent that can take a reel or two to get use to.  And sometimes the true bawdiness of a Shakespeare line needs to be slowed down a bit to let the imagination fellate it.   Benedick and Beatrice,  the two bickering  soul mates  and non-leads that steal the spotlight in every production, and the over 400 year old patron saints of the screwball style, get a grand  rendition by Alexis Denisof and  Amy Acker who have the sparkling chemistry of  Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  Whenever they get at or get it on it is a perfect comedic moment.   Much Ado About Nothing gets an A.

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