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.
The cinematography...good lord, the cinematography...
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…
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 cinematography...good lord, the cinematography...
Shakespeare is better watched than read. While I wasn't able to keep up with all the dialogue I did enjoy Branagh's adaptation.
Well... It looks nice.
THE AESTHETICS ARE JUST WOW.
I am in love with the set, camera angles, music, and the cast. Every scene was so beautiful -- the costumes were gorgeous. Without watching this film, I don't think I would have liked the play.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
O capodoperă. O adaptare perfectă și un film superb. Nu cred să fi schimbat vreun cuvânt din ce a scris Shakespeare, și totuși când adaugi regia, actorii, decorul, costumele totul se leagă minunat într-un film. 4 ore de vizionat continuu sunt destul de obositoare, dar îmi imaginez că să urmărești piesa în timp real e și mai obositor; dacă în cinematografie cadrele se schimbă rapid, pe scenă e cu mult mai greu. E cu atât mai de admirat cu cât actorul principal e și regizor și scenarist. Cu alte cuvinte filmul îi aparține aproape în totalitate lui Kenneth Branagh, deci lui i se cuvin laudele.
POLONIUS ...My lord, I will take my leave of you.
HAMLET You cannot, sir, take from me anything that I will not more willingly part withal - except my life, except my life, except my life.
Fittingly grand adaptation of what many would argue is Shakespeare's greatest play. Filled with lush production design, sweeping camera shots and an operatic score, star/director/adaptor Kenneth Branagh manages to put the definitive cinematic version of the play to screen flawlessly, only being hurt by the sheer length of it's extended vision. But the four and a half hours still feels worth it to see the multitude of brilliant actors on screen giving every single scene their all. Branagh himself is of course as over the top and hammy as ever, but he fits the titular role perfectly, conveying the obsession and madness that sends this character to his famously tragic end with gusto and raw emotion.
I really like Hamlet. I love the story. I can't get enough of it. This adaptation is phenomenal, but it's almost TOO faithful (4hr run time led me to watch it over three days!). The cinematography is stunning, I especially loved the way the To Be or Not to Be scene. My only real complaints are the long run time and how angry Branagh's Hamlet is. The Hamlet I picture is more mooey and confused, Branagh's is filled with unbridled rage. It's a bit much.
Thanks to its length and opulence, it's hard not to view Branagh's version Hamlet as pretty overblown. However, that same opulence helps to make it so compelling. As a drama, it's very lumpy, moving forward in fits and starts, but on a scene-by-scene basis it can be electrifying, if only as a showcase for the actors.
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
Added Comedians back on 28th Jan to make the full 1,000 titles again.
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