(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
So in April I wondered whether 2013 would offer up anything to challenge a random collection of old movie favorites I had recently seen on the big screen. It wasn’t looking good, but the Prescott Film Festival just scored, even if it was kind of cheating with a 2012 film.
The Prescott Film festival had what they advertised as the only Arizona screening of Josh Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing this weekend (Phoenix is not just a physical desert) so I eagerly bought a ticket. Actress Emma Bates, who played Ursula, was on hand for Q and A after the film. Here’s the trailer:
So the back story on the film is that Whedon has had actors over to his house on Sundays for years to read Shakespeare. He had a short break between shooting and post-production for The Avengers and instead of going on a trip to celebrate his 20th wedding anniversary, Whedon’s wife talked him in to shooting Much Ado About Nothing. Whedon summoned his friends, including veterans from Buffy, Angel, Firefly and the Avengers, assigned parts, and shot the entire film at his own house in 12 days. Bates related that Whedon’s wife is an architect and that she had in fact designed their house with shooting Much Ado About Nothing in mind. When you see the flick, you won’t doubt it.
I generally have a bias against American film actors trying to pull off Shakespeare. I watched the old Julius Caesar recently, and while Heston made a pretty good Marc Anthony, enduring Jason Robards playing Brutus with a midwestern deadpan accent was, well, brutal. I don’t think there was a single Brit in the bunch for this Much Ado but it didn’t matter because these guys were rolling with it and having fun. Sean Maher in particular was very good:
But maybe it was because the last American actor I saw play his role was:
Whether you love Whedon or Shakespeare, this movie is well worth the watch.