Much Ado About Nothing | Chicago Reader

Much Ado About Nothing

Kenneth Branagh's second attempt to popularize Shakespeare for the screen (Henry V was the first) yields a smashing piece of entertainment. The comedy was cut and deprived of its urban setting so that the whole thing could be shot in and around a 14th-century Tuscan villa, but the trade-off seems worth it, and most of the cast shines—I especially enjoyed Michael Keaton. Denzel Washington is sufficiently elegant to enable one to forget his American accent most of the time. Branagh may be the price we have to pay to get Emma Thompson, yet they're both more at home than Keanu Reeves. If you appreciate the effort to make Shakespeare comprehensible, the high spirits, sensual trappings, and juicy language of this buoyant, handsome 1993 production are pretty contagious.

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