Love's Labour's Lost | Chicago Reader

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Rated PG · 93 minutes · 2000

Musical comedy
Whether Kenneth Branagh deserves to be regarded as the successor of Laurence Olivier—or even Franco Zeffirelli—when it comes to Shakespeare is far from settled, but this misguided version of one of the Bard's best comedies strongly suggests he's the successor of Ed Wood when it comes to musicals. Set in 1939, on the eve of World War II, his feeble attempt to “do” a 30s musical is so poorly conceived, staged, and edited that it nearly rivals Mae West's last opus, Sextette. (Peter Bogdanovich's reviled At Long Last Love is a masterpiece by comparison.) The only performer who emerges unscathed from the clunkiness is dancer Adrian Lester, and so many of Shakespeare's lines are hacked away to make room for songs by Porter and Berlin that the play is enfeebled in the bargain. Others in the cast include Alessandro Nivola, Matthew Lillard, Natascha McElhone, Alicia Silverstone, Nathan Lane, Carmen Ejogo, Emily Mortimer, and Stefania Rocca.
Official Site: www.guildpathe.co.uk/LLL
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Kenneth Branagh
Producer: Guy East, Alexis Lloyd, Nigel Sinclair, Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein
Cast: Alessandro Nivola, Alicia Silverstone, Natascha McElhone, Kenneth Branagh, Carmen Ejogo, Matthew Lillard, Adrian Lester, Emily Mortimer, Richard Briers, Geraldine McEwan, Stefania Rocca, Jimmy Yuill, Nathan Lane, Timothy Spall, Anthony O'Donnell, Daniel Hill and Richard Clifford

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