Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, returns home to find his father murdered and his mother remarrying the murderer, his uncle. Meanwhile, war is brewing.
Film #64 of Project 90
”If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart, absent thee from felicity awhile and in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain to tell my story.”
Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s groundbreaking and iconic play may not be as intense as the original work but it is a very gorgeous film that pleases the eye and with Branagha’s energetic directing and some spectacular performances from a top-class ensemble it is in fact a solid and enjoyable cinematic version of a legendary piece of literature. Even though Hamlet runs for almost four hours but there is enough drama in this timeless tragedy to enchant us and Branagh’s accurate understanding of characters and themes…
One of my 1000 recommended films.
I go through phases of liking this film a lot, and then thinking it is far too long, self-indulgent, and weirdly cast.
Kenneth Branagh, back in 1996, was still being touted as the new Olivier. He'd appeared on screen in Henry V (under his own direction) and Othello (under the direction of Oliver Parker, as Iago).
This version of Hamlet was his third Shakespeare film adaptation as director, following Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, and since Hamlet he has made versions of Love's Labour's Lost and As You Like It.
To say this is a full-text version of the play would not be exaggerating. In fact, in his eagerness to stay faithful…
Just terrific. Watching this again really did it for me. Branagh's Hamlet is a terrific adaptation and a triumphant film that utilizes the possibilities of the source material to full effect. The set design is immaculate, the cinematography is beautiful , and the scope is stunning (oh what I would give to see this in 70mm).
This is the perfect Hamlet for me: it combines the bard's exquisite work with the stylistic sensibilities of a true epic film. Marvelous.
This was much better than I expected.
Despite having enjoyed Kenneth Branagh's other Shakespeare adaptation, Henry V the 4 hour runtime on his version of Hamlet left me a little nervous. Now, I tend to like long movies, and considering my favorite film of all time has a 4 hour length, this fact really shouldn't have put me off. I was afraid it would be too drawn out and boring, but thankfully, I was pleasantly surprised with the film. While it does drag in places, Hamlet is ultimately a very captivating film that kept me interested for the entire time. The performances are excellent, especially from Branagh, who is equally as good behind the camera. The production design and costumes…
The cinematography...good lord, the cinematography...
Mirrored doors, sumptuous chambers and winter land. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, decomposing behind the facade. Gone are the dark cellars, Gothic arches and desolate bastions; murder and deceit occur in brightly lit, candy-coloured rooms—a personal drama with the scope of an epic. Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet is not a pathetic figure either, this is a man who could, and will, change the destiny of his nation. This is The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark as envisioned by a bold and ambitious artist.
As a director, Branagh’s stylistic flourishes are often beautiful and only rarely gaudy. For instance, the first appearance of the ghost of Hamlet's late-father is bad enough to make you cringe; the very next…
The end is delightfully over the top.
I don't really have ~opinions~ on Shakespeare and haven't seen/read any other version of Hamlet, but this was a lot of fun and didn't seem like four hours at all. Kenneth Branagh has great hair; actually almost everyone has great hair, except Laertes. Sort of made me want to try reading the play.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
1997, my grade 12 English teacher assigns us Hamlet to read. That is the second and last time I have ever read a Shakespeare play. But even now, almost two decades later, I still remember the story surprisingly well. It’s one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, it’s loaded with a huge number of iconic Shakespeare lines and quotes that people know even if they don’t know where those lines and quotes come from. Maybe my vivid memory is a result of being forced to discuss, analyse and dissect the play from every angle for weeks in class. Or maybe I remember it so well all these years later, because it’s just that good a story.
Outside of the Danish royal…
Day 4 of 32:
This is the adapation of Hamlet people should watch. It's one of the most underrated modern classics of all time.
Please, watch this movie.
"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you..."
You know what's an absolute bore? Watching people perform Shakespeare with no interest whatsoever.
"Trippingly on the tongue."
You know what's an absolute blast? Watching people perform Shakespeare who devote themselves fully to bringing the play to life.
Kenneth Branagh has an inextinguishable flair - in front and behind the camera. From the grandiose production design to the cavalcade of classically trained actors (who even put some nice little modern touches on it, like Derek Jacobi's complex gentleness he brings to Claudius), Hamlet is the Bard on screen at its apex.
(P.S - the half a star taken off is for Claudius' death scene, which almost brings the film to a point of self parody after such a masterful balance between roaring fun and somber theatrics all before)
kenneth branagh: CALM DOWN.
i kept thinking this one guy was robin williams & yelling 'IS THAT ROBIN' whenever he was onscreen
Lots and lots of whisper acting.
Despite an almost exhausting devotion to the source material in both its wordy profundities and intimidating length it’s the sheer scale and delight of the visuals as well as the triumphant performances by all that make for blissfully rich experience that deserves to experienced.
The cinematography...good lord, the cinematography...
Combined the average ratings (Critic's & Users) from IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic and Letterboxd, and then weighted and tweaked the results…
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.