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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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December 18 2013

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Stephanie Zacharek's favourite movies of 2013. She's written some great material about the Whedonverse in the past. In her Village Voice article, Stephanie describes Much Ado as "one of the most exuberant movies of the year".


Zacharek is actually one of my favorite film critics working today, and I admit that my tastes align with her much more often than it doesn't. When the movie initially came out, I was bummed she didn't review it. Knowing she saw and loved Much Ado gives me the happy.
I wanted to like this movie, but I can't for the life of me understanding anything that is going on. This movie really could have used subtitles using modern-day English. I've had less trouble following along with television shows and movies in Japanese without subtitles.
Calatia: Watching Shakespeare plays can be a bit of an acquired skill. I recommend reading the play if you're unfamiliar with it (a good edition will have footnotes and glosses), then watching the film. I used to read every play before going to the Utah Shakespeare Festival, but in recent years I've found it isn't necessary - I'm used to the language now.
Rachelkachel, that's a good suggestion. Me, I thought the actors achieved amazing clarity with their lines! I've been watching/reading Shakespeare since I was a kid, but I have friends who went who are not Shakespeare buffs, and who also didn't have any trouble. I usually take 10 minutes or so to re-tune my ear, but with this movie I was right there with them from the start.

Anyway, I thought this was a lovely review! Calling it "Exuberant" was right on the money! For me, the combination of Shakespeare and the Whedonverse is a match made in heaven.

And I haven't posted this before, but when I saw it on opening night, in a fairly packed house, the reaction of the audience when Nathan Fillion finally showed up on screen was amazing. There was this sort of collective sigh/murmur that swept through the audience. Warmed the cockles of my heart!
Rachelkachel, I like your description of watching Shakespeare as "an acquired skill". And Jocelyn, like you I usually take about 10 minutes or so of a play before the language clicks into clarity more or less, although I also thought this version was so clear they might have been speaking modern English. I'm always amused by people who claim that they don't like Shakespeare because they were forced to read him in school and that engendered a lifelong hatred. No, you don't like Shakespeare, because reading/watching Shakespeare is HARD! The language isn't what you're used to and you have to really pay attention, and even then you're not going to catch it all, because even the experts don't know exactly what everything was supposed to mean. With Shakespeare you can't just watch it, you have to be an active participant, and the truth is the more Shakespeare you have read, the more of a running start you have when you watch it.
And reading any play is always a third-rate experience.

Too bad not enough critics liked it to put it into a major Golden Globes category, which makes it look bad for Oscar noms.
Speaking of which (awards and the not-being-nominated-for), Wired has this best-movie-performances-2013-wont-win-any-awards.

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