Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Flick Pick: Henry V

Henry V
(BBC Films, 1989)

To date, the best Shakespearean drama ever adapted for the screen, bar none.
Kenneth Branagh did more to bring Shakespeare back in modern times than any other man, and this film, one of his first, is the masterpiece of that work, as screenwriter, director, and star.
With Paul Scofield, Emma Thompson, Ian Holm, Judi Dench, Christian Bale, Derek Jacobi, Brian Blessed, between them amassing 15 Oscar nominations and 5 wins among a host of others, the heirs of Shakespeare's players are well-represented on stage and screen, though to date Branagh has been nominated in 5 different categories, and has naught to show for the efforts except fantastic films like this one. His St. Crispin's Day speech trumps Olivier's handily, and is moving to this day as testimony to its greatness, here and for all time. And amazingly, at its widest release, it was only on 134 screens in the U.S. That's normally the distribution for films that are dying, but in this case, apparently, the BBC only wanted to make their investment budget back. But it stayed in theatres for nine months.
Best Costume Design

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