Much Ado About Nothing

“This is the funniest Shakespeare film I can recall seeing.” — Lou Lumenick, NY Post

Director: Joss Whedon
Year: 2012
Country: USA
Running time: 107 mins
Censor Rating: M - sex scenes, drug references

Music: Joss Whedon
Producers: Joss Whedon, Kai Cole
Screenplay: Joss Whedon. Based on the play by William Shakespeare
Photography: Jay Hunter
Editors: Daniel S. Kaminsky, Joss Whedon
Production designers: Cindy Chao, Michele Yu
Costume designer: Shawna Trpcic
Sound: Victor Ennis

With: Amy Acker (Beatrice), Alexis Denisof (Benedick), Clark Gregg (Leonato), Reed Diamond (Don Pedro), Fran Kranz (Claudio), Jillian Morgese (Hero), Nathan Fillion (Dogberry), Sean Maher (Don John), Spencer Treat Clark (Borachio), Riki Lindhome (Conrade), Tom Lenk (Verges), Emma Bates (Ursula), Ashley Johnson (Margaret), Paul Meston (Friar Francis)

Festivals: Toronto 2012; San Francisco 2013

Joss Whedon’s zesty romcom, set amongst young corporate types in LA, breathes fresh life into a script that’s been around for more than 400 years. It arrives like an out-of-the-blue treat for any Whedon fans who didn’t already know that their man was steeped in the Bard. Their theatre-going grannies are in for an unexpected treat too.

“Updating the setting but, mercifully, not the language of Shakespeare’s great love comedy, this nimble black-and-white rendition honors a classic text, adroitly performed by a game ensemble of Whedon TV alumni, while teasing out all manner of anachronistic in-jokes and sight gags that enhance its merry spirit…

Whedon’s do-it-yourself labor of love was shot over 12 days last year at his Santa Monica manse, whose scenic gardens, Spanish-style architecture and casually elegant vibe are not too far removed, conceptually, from the idyllic Tuscan villa of Kenneth Branagh’s celebrated 1993 film, a realm of lushly romantic fantasy made momentarily concrete…

The pleasures here are largely those of any reading or staging… most of all, the splendid sparring matches between Beatrice (Amy Acker) and Benedick (Alexis Denisof), their unique scorn for each other and, indeed, for the very notion of love, marking them as a perfect match.” Justin Chang, Variety

“The first great contemporary Shakespeare since Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Not that it’s just for the kids – the Globe crowd, too, should extend this warm embrace… Much Ado may be a bit of a B+ staple on the Shakespeare circuit, but Whedon – as well as improving student grades the world over – makes it feel second to none.” Catherine Shoard, The Guardian