Production: The Samuel Goldwyn Company
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Shakespeare, Kenneth Branagh
Duration: 110 min
Mark Deming: Actor Kenneth Branagh made his directorial debut with a rousing screen adaptation of William Shakespeare‘s Henry V. Four years later, he returns to the bard’s work with this lively version of one of Shakespeare’s best comedies. Don Pedro (Denzel Washington), the Prince of Aragon, returns victorious from battle to the praises of the Governor of Messina, Leonato (Richard Briers). One of Don Pedro’s bravest men, Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard), falls in love with Hero (Kate Beckinsale), Leonato’s daughter, and they plan to marry. However, Don Pedro’s devious half-brother Don John (Keanu Reeves) opposes the match, and he devises a plan to turn Hero against Claudio. Meanwhile, Benedict (Branagh), Don Pedro’s second-in-command, detests Leonato’s niece Beatrice (Emma Thompson), but Don Pedro cleverly brings them together by making each think that the other is secretly in love with them. Much Ado About Nothing also features Michael Keaton in a showy turn as Dogberry.