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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Well, personally? I kinda want to slay the dragon."
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June 04 2013

David Edelstein from New York Magazine reviews Much Ado About Nothing. "I'd be pressed to imagine a more sure-footed Much Ado. When Shakespeare's done right, you can't imagine him ever being done wrong. The clarity is blinding." Though The Wrap review says "the final results are disappointingly mediocre". The Miami New Times says the movie is "Whedon at his best" and The List says the movie "keeps everything simple to let the dialogue sparkle". JoBlo gives it 8 out of 10 and praises Amy "simply shines as Beatrice".

Seeing as the reviews are starting to flood in, I've declared marital law and added some more reviews to this entry.
Personally, never cared about reviewers and reviews at all, but this is a movie that will benefit enourmesly from great reviews, like all movies that have nor the star power (it should, but...) nor the publicity it needs to get the attention it deserves. More so with the Bard. So go, reviewers.

PD: Am i the only one that has the feeling that many reviews from UK are far more enthusiastic than the ones coming from USA, in general? Genuine question, not making a point here.

[ edited by Darkness on 2013-06-04 17:18 ]
I think they've both been equally positive. The UK has been always been guilty of knocking them down when they get too big but not in this case.
The link to the review at The List is 404ing; it seems this link is the correct one for the review and an interview with Joss is also available.

Interesting quote from Joss with more love for his thesps:

Having actors who were confident with the language was critical in making sense of the text. Some were experienced Shakespearean performers, others ‘terrified’ newcomers, but Whedon knew what he needed. ‘I made the film because I knew I had the people who could do it,’ he says. ‘Stages, sitcoms and soaps: those are the people that I pursue, because they can learn a lot fast and they have a work ethic.’

Thanks for spotting the error and for the interview as well, I'll add that to the thread above.
I've declared marital law

Well, the play does end in a double wedding, so that seems appropriate.
It depends, sometimes if you come to recognize a local reviewer's tastes then you might get an indication of how likely you are to enjoy/dislike it too.

Random points:
The NYmag Edelstein review for some reason seems to have treated the image to make it look a bit more dramatic/stark noir for a kind of slapsticky scene and the movie didn't seem to be as heavily stylized as that would suggest.
I love everyone singling out Amy Acker's performance (and do side with that one more negative reviewer that feels Denisof had a little trouble comparing to her Even if he got a lot of hilarious beats his character came off a bit more buffoony, granted it seems like he was meant to?)
I also noticed pretty much no one has any understanding of what the male characters are up to in the modernized setting. Some people see it as more corporate, some seem to be convinced it's a governmental agency?
That Miami New Times review also amused me since I didn't realize newspapers could get away with expletives for emphasis. (Granted I guess it might be an alternative weekly?)
A question for you Shakespeare scholars out there -- JoBlo states:
There is a real sense of love for the Bard as Whedon allows his actors to playfully sink their teeth into iambic pentameter.

But isn't Much Ado About Nothing one of the few Shakespearian plays that was NOT written in iambic pentameter?

And Yoink, Hee!
Floofypooh, I'm not a Shakespeare scholar (I just play one on tv!), but yes, Much Ado is in prose -- which I learned from the Reed Diamond interview at Reduced Shakespeare.
I would concur with the positive reviews: Amy Acker is positively ravishing and electric as Beatrice, and it's one of the best filmic adaptations of Shakespeare I've ever seen. It is, in some ways, more impressive that Joss's The Avengers -- more seamless, tonally consistent, really charming.

Possibly (possibly!) Joss Whedon's best movie.
Thanks, punkinpuss. I wasn't sure if that factoid rattling in my brain was correct or not. I guess I now really need to listen to that Reed Diamond interview.

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