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20/30 Much Ado About Nothing

Just got in from the late showing of Much Ado. It's playing at Cinema 21, an unapologetically crappy old movie house in a neighborhood that was hip when I lived there in, like, the Reagan era, and seems, after a period where it started to feel a bit corporate, to have been re-hippified.

I picked up my ticket, wandered across the street to a bar I'd never heard of, and had a mojito and a really good spinach, strawberry, goat cheese and hazelnut salad. Since I almost never drink, I was a wee bit tipsy when I crossed back over at showtime.

I loved so many things about the movie that I could overlook all but one of its flaws*. It's true that American actors, on the whole, aren't at home with Shakespeare, and some of the performances are better than others in that regard, but none are bad, and Amy Acker is brilliant.

I think the interpretation, the Jossiness of it, was the star of the show for me. I loved the music, the beautiful setting, the 1930s-feeling costumes juxtaposed against the iPods and smartphones. Overall, the thousand choices Joss made to share his love of the play and the entire tradition of screwball comedies it has given rise to over the centuries, were what made the movie so completely enjoyable for me.

*I'll give Joss credit for calling out his movie's major flaw in case the audience hadn't noticed it by then: the "Ethiope" line in the second wedding scene. It underscored the all-white casting and made the audience laugh at it (uncomfortably), but it would have been better if the speaking cast had actually included non-white actors. Though I approve of Conrade being played by a woman.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comments.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 23rd, 2013 03:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, it was pretty damn white. I needed a pause and rewind at that, so I could see the exact expression of the black woman when he said it. I hope it was, "Did I really hear that shit?"
Jun. 24th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the "Ethiope" moment was very brief--actually quite a feat of editing, because a whole hell of a lot was conveyed in about 1.5 seconds.

I don't want to be a person who dismisses the value of a work based on the racial makeup of the people involved, but I did, ultimately, find that the lack of ethnic diversity in the speaking roles (and the glaring inclusion of black and Asian extras) reduced my enjoyment of the film just a bit.

Still, I did genuinely enjoy it. I've decided that the cupcake may have been the single funniest moment.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )



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