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…
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…
I watched this in school over the course of a few weeks while my class read Hamlet. While this most certainly was not an ideal way of viewing the film, I can still say I was very impressed by what I saw.
On a visual level, the film is stunning. The cinematography (shot in 70mm) is absolutely gorgeous and the set design, filled with lush reds and ubiquitous mirrors, is marvelous.
Branagh's direction of the film is also rather noteworthy. He usually shoots dialogue sequences in long, meditative takes. I was also impressed by his decision to incorporate flashbacks throughout the dialogue sequences, a unique interpretation of Shakespeare's play on his part.
The ensemble all around is fantastic. Branagh himself…
Film #32 of No Rewatch November
I'm a little undecided on this. On the one hand it is probably too long. It drags in many parts, mainly because there are large parts of the dialogue which I don't understand. On the other hand there are magnificent moments here. Intimate moments between two characters and epic scenes with hundreds of extras. The music is the reason these scenes work. It is beautiful and greatly enhances the emotion of the acting.
The second part of the movie, after the intermission, is easily the best. Everything escalates and ends dramatically and fittingly.
I have seen many versions of my favorite Shakespeare play but this is the one that has stuck with me. Shot in 65mm film, it was lush and beautiful with sweeping visuals that mesmerized me. The cast was amazing and star-studded. As the first "full-length" version of Hamlet filmed, it was long but it was 4 -hours well spent.
I don't usually like Shakespear adaptation films that use the original scripts because of the overacting and unbelievability of the film. This is just a preference of mine as I do recognize that aesthetic to preserving the original dialogue, it's just not for me. This film was no different, although I did like the sets and cinematography and the cameos of various talented actors.
No. Just no.
I'll concede that Branagh comes up with some interesting ideas here and there - Claudius for one, is granted greater shade and humanity than is standardly the case, so several passages that aren't usually moving get at you in a way that shouldn't be surprising but is.
But more often than not, even these passages are interrupted or undercut by a directorial gesture of staggeringly bad taste:
- Branagh will cut away from an intimate soliloquy to a thudding, reductive flashback with undergrad tactlessness;
- he will pile costumes and extras into places that have no space for them;
- he will cut off all momentum to pay lip service to an expository monologue that works perfectly…
I respect and admire Branagh for making a cinematic film of the full version of Hamlet, but dear if it isn't the least interesting adaptation of the play I've yet encountered and the perfect argument to all others hacking it down. It's an all surface take unfortunately.
Shakespeare? Hamlet? 70mm?
Subtlety isn't one of Branagh's strengths as a filmmaker, but when seen on the big screen in 70mm this dramatic spectacle of Shakespeare's words really comes to life. There may be a better adaptation out there, but I doubt there's a bigger one.
im so gay 4 this movie
If the 242 minutes 70mm (with an intermission) is playing in your local cinema, go see it!
The worst version of it I have seen.
I am typing with one finger.
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- About Last Night...
- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.
- The Hired Hand
- Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
- The House Is Black
Each week I'll post a new letter and all you have to do is nominate a film that you think…