Today, I had the absolute pleasure of seeing the newest movie version of Much Ado About Nothing, which was screened as part of the San Francisco International Film Festival.
What can I say? It was fantastic.
I’m an unabashed fangirl when it comes to Joss Whedon and his world, and the fact that so many actors from the Whedon-verse — Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, and more — had key roles in Much Ado made it all the sweeter to see.
On top of which, I’m a book geek with a fondness for Shakespeare, and although I’m much more familiar with the tragedies, I’m always up for a good Shakespearean comedy. Much Ado About Nothing happens to be one that I’ve never read and had never seen before, and I did have a bit of trepidation ahead of time as to whether I’d actually “get” it. Not to worry, though. From the opening scenes, it was easy to pick up the rhythms of the language, and it all flowed beautifully.
Filmed in black and white in a modern setting, the art direction and style of the movie is contemporary and quick. The staging allows the actors to shine, particularly in their use of body language and interactions, and their comedic timing is impeccable. Nathan Fillion in particular was hilarious, Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof were sharp and witty as Beatrice and Benedick, and Fran Kranz as the love-smitten Claudio was both puppy-dog sweet and quietly dangerous. Really, I could go on and on about the cast, but suffice it to say that there was not a one that I could find fault with. Their line deliveries were as smooth as they’d be if they were, well, in some other Joss production. For the man who perfected the art of quippiness, directing Shakespeare must have been a natural fit.
Both Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof were present for the screening, both to introduce the film and to participate in a Q&A session afterward. They were funny and charming, and got Joss on speakerphone before the movie to say hi to the audience. Adorable.
So here’s the trailer:
The movie opens June 7th in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Don’t miss it!