Joss Whedon adapts William Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
The film advertises itself.
PLOT: Love is in the air in the home of Leonato (Clark Gregg) when his daughter Hero (Jillian Morgese) falls for Claudio (Fran Kranz). As their wedding day approaches jealous Don John (Sean Maher) conspires to split up the happy couple. Meanwhile Beatrice (Amy Acker) bickers with Benedict (Alexis Denisof) unaware that Leonato, Claudio and Don Pedro (Reed Diamond) are manipulating them in the hope that they will fall in love. END PLOT
Adapting Shakespeare’s original text in a modern day setting is always a risking move. Joss Whedon did it on an eleven day shoot in his own home (wiki) and made it look easy.
The dialogue and pacing runs at break neck speed. It took me a few minutes to get into the flow of the film, but once I did, I was engrossed.
Despite being written over 500years ago the wit and comedy feels fresh and there were a few emotional moments thrown in for good measure. The comedy ranges from witty zingers to broad slapstick with very few jokes, if any, missing their marks.
The cast is a who’s who of Joss Whedon’s back catalogue however they have been cast on their own merits. Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof and Clark Gregg are all excellent and Sean Maher pops up as a moody Don John
As expected Nathan Fillion steals the show and earns the biggest laughs however Alexis Denisof is close behind on the giggle stakes with will some brilliantly timed slapstick.
Much Ado About Nothing is shot in black and white and despite the simple cinematography it looks stunning. The camera felt a bit too shaky at times but this is only a minor quibble for the sake of having something to complain about.
Much Ado About Nothing is simple filmmaking at its finest. It gets a 9/10.