Richard III (1995)

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Richard III: Directed by Richard Loncraine. With Christopher Bowen, Edward Jewesbury, Ian McKellen, Bill Paterson. The classic Shakespearean play about the murderously scheming 15th-century king is reimagined in an alternative setting of 1930s England as clouds of fascism gather.

“When I see how wonderful this Richard III is, it immediately makes me question what in the world has Kenneth Branagh been doing all these years? Certainly nothing as imaginative, as provocative as this.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eDeprived of Shakespeare as a child, I have been forced to catch up piece meal through film. Al Pacinou0026#39;s u0026quot;Looking for Richardu0026quot; gives attention to Richard III, from a far different perspective, but both that film and this agree that it has all the key elements of great drama: evil ambition, betrayal, rivalry.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe casting is tremendous with Ian McKellen (from his own stage play) and Kristen Scott-Thomas in the leads-thankfully there is no Kenneth Branagh to be found. And is this guy Jim Broadbent any good, or what? For my money he steals every scene he plays in u0026quot;Little Voiceu0026quot;, heu0026#39;s subtly brilliant here in a lesser role. Only Annette Benning seems a little overmatched in her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth, but thatu0026#39;s hardly surprising.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe accessibility of the current version, the setting in 1930u0026#39;s Fascist Europe, gives the story a vibrancy that is present from the first frame to the last.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eChallenging, fun, and educative-far more than most films deliver. I highly recommend.”


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