Flicks in Five: 'Much Ado About Nothing'

The cast of 'Much Ado About Nothing' (1993)© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.


Flicks in Five: Much Ado About Nothing

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June 09, 2015

This week's Flicks in Five opens with the voice of Emma Thompson, appearing as Beatrice in Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado about Nothing (1993), in which Branagh played Benedick.

Filming Shakespeare is nothing new; it's happened since the silent-film days, and perhaps the most notable in the 20th century — up until Much Ado about Nothing — was the series of Shakespeare plays that starred Laurence Olivier, with music supplied by William Walton.

In the latter part of the 20th century, it was Kenneth Branagh reigning as the English actor who was putting Shakespeare on film, and his muse was Patrick Doyle.

Much Ado about Nothing is considered Shakespeare's best comedy, probably written about 1598 and known for moments of side-splitting laughter while also taking in some serious topics alike honor and shame and courtly politics and manners.

The "nothing " in Much Ado about Nothing really means "gossip," and that's really what gets the whole plot going.

Along with Branagh and Thompson, the cast includes Robert Sean Leonard, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington and Kate Beckinsale. Patrick Doyle did the music and he made an on-screen appearance as Balthazar, one of the wandering musicians who come in and out of the play.

On Flicks in Five, you can hear some of Doyle's music for Much Ado about Nothing.