Shakespeare’s 450th birthday is this week, so I’m sharing some of my favorite Shakespeare-related things.
Today I’d like to share several of my favorite filmed versions of the plays (later I’ll share my favorites inspired by the plays). I’m counting these as five, even though technically I’ve included eight movies (see #3). These are not necessarily ranked in order. These made the list because they are my “go to” films, and to say one is better than the others would have been next to impossible.
1. Much Ado About Nothing (Directed by Kenneth Branagh)
I’ve loved this version since it came out. I’ve been a fan of Emma Thompson for years and I love her as Beatrice. This was the first film I ever saw Kate Beckinsale in.
2. Much Ado About Nothing (Directed by Joss Whedon)
It’s directed by Joss Whedon, what more do I need to say? Okay, it’s full of Wedonverse alums as well. I don’t think I need to say any more than that.
I’m counting these four as one since I can’t really pick a favorite from among them. I hadn’t seen any performance of three of these before the BBC made this series. I had only seen Branagh’s Henry V. These are gorgeous productions, and have great casts (Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, and Michelle Dockery among others).
If you watch this one for no other reason (though there are plenty), watch it for Kevin Kline’s portrayal of Bottom.
This is one of my favorite plays, and this film continues to stand as my favorite version.
What are your favorites? Do you prefer Hamlet, whether Branagh’s version or Mel Gibson’s? Perhaps Olivier’s various Shakespearean films? Let me know in the comments.