Monday, May 05, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing by Joss Whedon

When I learned that cult favorite Joss Whedon had filmed a modern version of Much Ado About Nothing – but with the original text – I was apprehensively hopeful. I need not have worried. Filmed in Whedon’s home in 12 days, this movie is a fun dreamlike romp through a Shakespearean classic. The actors are all Whedon’s friends who were part of an informal club that got together to perform Shakespeare for fun in his home. It is obvious they all have a fondness for the play and had a great time performing it.

Alexis Denisoff and Amy Acker take center stage and excel in their roles as Benedick and Beatrice, the incurable bachelor and the sharp tongued spinster. Their delivery of both the subtle quips and the physical comedy are a pleasure to watch. Another scene stealer is Nathan Fillion, who offers hilarity as the buffoon like sheriff, Dogberry. This would be a very long review if I listed each of the fantastic performances. The cast is a who’s who of the Whedonverse.

The movie was filmed in a soft black and white that contributes to the breezy dreamlike feel of the production. The score is similarly light and ambient and helps pull the audience into the relaxed levity of the comedy.

Search the VBPL catalog for Much Ado About Nothing directed by Joss Whedon. For a rowdier rendition of the play filmed in a historical setting, be sure to check out the 2003 version starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.


Tracy said...

Both this and the 2003 version are very different from each other but great!

Lennis said...

I agree, Tracy. It's amazing that such different films came from the same source material.