The Bard Comes to Los Angeles
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (2012/IN THEATERS) It takes a few minutes to adjust to Shakespearean language but by the end of Joss Whedon’s delightful take on one of the Bard’s liveliest comedies, you’ll be happy you did. Whedon, famous as the creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, and recently tasked with directing the multi-bazillion dollar blockbuster The Avengers, decided to forego a vacation in Italy with his wife in order to shoot this clever B&W version of Much Ado right in his own house in LA. If you’re a fan of his earlier TV efforts, you’ll recognize many of the cast members, among them Amy Acker from Angel as Beatrice, the sharp-tongued leading lady of the play and her counterpart Benedick who is played by Alexis Denisof, also a veteran of Angel. Nathan Fillion is a true joy to watch as Dogberry, the constable who provides comic relief just when you need it. Other cast members include Clark Gregg as Leonato, Fran Kranz as Claudio, and Sean Maher as Don John, the villain of the piece. The whole film, adapted for the screen and directed by Whedon, was shot in 12 days. As the story goes, Whedon often hosted his cast members in his house for wine-filled Shakespeare readings just for fun and so the idea was born—why not cut a modern American take on this classic? First shown at last fall’s Toronto Film Festival, the small movie has been making the rounds on the festival circuit and finally has arrived in “a theater near you.” I say…if you love Shakespeare and you love B&W, don’t miss this.
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and the whole movie has a wonderful weekend wedding party feel to it, just as it should, complete with an amazing amount of drinking, talking and romance. A great change from the action packed flix currently dominating the metroplex.