Much Ado About Nothing
Shunning doublet and hose in favour of tastefully tailored suburbia, Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing is a lithe, wry look at one of Shakespeare’s lesser-visited works, discovering in dreamy monochrome the sensuousness often lost between iambs. As Claudio (Kranz) and Hero (Morgese) struggle with honour, and Benedick (Denisof) and Beatrice (Acker) clash wits, lines are delivered with a casual insight that transcends posturing.
Quirky innovations include a tinkling, jazz piano-led rendition of Hey Nonny Nonny, and the figuring of Riki Lindhome as Conrade, Don John’s traditionally male sidekick, as a female lover. Whedon shot in 12 days at his own home, with a cast snatched from pre-film works that will delight alumni of Buffy, Dollhouse and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. While such conditions could easily feel restrictive or distracting, Whedon’s inventive framing, delicate means of shifting focus and glowing, ethereal use of light make for a stylish and absolutely credible vision, about which much ado would be well-earned. [Kirsty Leckie-Palmer]