As You Like It, 2006

dir. Kenneth Branagh



Branagh’s back! His interpretation of French pastoral into Medieval Japan is way cool. This is one of those movies where you find yourself asking, did they fly out there to make a film or go on holiday? The Forest of Arden comes to life amid Samurai warriors, dynastic architecture and neatly tied hair buns.




Brian Blessed plays both Dukes of the royal arch-nemesis. He’s the best. I wish he could be in every Shakespeare movie. Alfred Molina (Dr. Octopus in Spiderman 2) makes for a wry Touchstone and probably achieves the most out-loud laughs. Kevin Kline (The Ice Storm, Wild Wild West, A Fish Called Wanda) is a wonderfully exuberant and flamboyant Jaques. But there can be no doubt about who the star of this show really is; Bryce Dallas Howard (The Village, Terminator Salvation, Spiderman 3) has always had an entrancing look about her but never before have I seen her quite so… red? Fiery. Ablaze! Her energy explodes out of the screen with such relentless enthusiasm that the coma-inducing droll of a senior classroom teacher seems to be of a different pen altogether than the shrill wits and whims of this young, sexy, adventurous Tomboy. What fun!



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