Joss Whedon’s Much Ado

Joss Whedon’s Much Ado

Just back from a lovely afternoon in Stamford with Crisp and Jake to see Much Ado at the wonderful little non-profit Avon Theater (followed by a great burger at Lucky’s across the street). Two very enthusiastic thumbs up from Jake and me… a little less enthusiasm from CJ, who it seems isn’t a huge fan of Shakespeare in a modern setting, but it kept his attention and he certainly seemed to enjoy it 🙂

Shot in black and white over 12 days at his house in California with many friends from other projects this is Joss Whedon’s take on probably my favorite of Shakespeare’s comedies. Kenneth Brannagh did it in ’93 and I have always liked his version, but I think this is better. It’s truer to the text and the stunning black and white cinematography and the intimacy of shooting it in one house all contribute to a very satisfying whole. The performances are all good (if I had to pick a couple of standouts they would be Fran Kranz as Claudio and Clark Gregg as Leonato- and a special mention to Nathan Fillion and Tom Lenk as Dogberry and Verges, marvelously underplayed compared with the ridiculous Michael Keaton in the Branagh version!).

Joss Whedon is truly multitalented, just look at his list of blockbuster achievements here– and then he does this beautiful, affectionate, intimate treatment of Shakespeare, I’m blown away.

I wish this movie was on wider release, although seeing it in a little art house cinema with people who know how to behave was part of the joy today… if you can go and see it, do, but if you can’t get out to see it make sure you make a note to rent or buy it when it hits the on-demand world- this is a blu-ray that will certainly go into my collection.

…and boy do I want Joss Whedon’s house (Jackie says she’d settle for just the kitchen)!

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