Kenneth Branagh

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Post  sagitare on Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Make that Sir Ken!

Totally hottie. Loved him for years, way back to Henry V and Dead Again. I think he's an awesome actor and a terrific director. I've always said that his Shakespeare roles bring the language to life like no other I've seen. I mean, I'm no Shakespeare expert or huge fan or anything, but I've found some actors can get hung up on the structure and rhythm of the language - they seem to be performing that more than the meaning of the words themselves. Ken's performances are just so effortless and natural. He gets across the language like it's just actual, regular dialogue. I respond to it just as if I was listening to people today having a conversation rather than mentally translating what they're saying into some sort of modern phrasing in order to understand what's being said.

And is it wrong to still ship him and Emma? It's only just a little bit, I swear, heh. I was so sad when they broke up - they seemed so perfect for each other.
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Post  laddical on Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:20 pm

Totally - I still haven't gotten over their breakup. It makes it hard to watch Much Ado About Nothing.
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Post  Decca on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:02 pm

It makes it hard to watch Much Ado About Nothing.

Ugh, I know. Especially since that movie is obviously his love letter to her. I don't think she ever looked so beautiful on camera again, and they seemed so genuinely crazy about each other in it. They're good actors, yeah but still...I totally still ship them, too.

I was the nerdiest girl in my middle school because I had a picture of Branagh as Hamlet in my locker. I had such a crush on him, and I really wish he'd do another Shakespeare film.

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Post  Agent Sculder on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:39 pm

My people! I had a raging crush on him as well, mostly because I adored him in the movies he made with Emma Thompson. And I don't just mean the Shakespearean ones. Dead Again is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies, and Peter's Friends is cute too. And if you've never seen Othello, I highly recommend it just to see him play Iago. I remember being unable to take my eyes off him whenever he was on screen.

Good for him on getting made a "sir". I also hope he decides to do more of Shakespeare's plays. I'd really like to see him take a crack at Macbeth and King Lear.

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Post  Decca on Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:44 pm

Heh, I have a hunch he won't direct an adaptation of King Lear until he's old enough to play Lear himself, but you're right that it would be awesome. As would a Macbeth.

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Post  laurelin_kit on Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:33 pm

My high school best friend and I had basically an unofficial Branagh fan club that consisted of watching Hamlet and Much Ado a lot, and sometimes Wild Wild West. You know, for humility's sake.
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Post  Wildog27 on Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:15 pm

Huge fan. Saw Henry V in the theater as a senior in high school and loved how it was presented and even more after reading his Beginnings book where he basically has a shooting diary of it. When I was teaching, I used to show it after we studied Henry IV, Pt. 1 to see how Hal turned out. Dead Again is shlocky but so much fun, and Frankenstein is not as bad as people made it out to be. I'm still a huge fan and I'm sorry he's not coming back to direct the sequel to Thor.

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Post  Cutebutpsycho on Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:18 pm

I think that he and Emma were my OTP before I knew what OTP meant. I remember hearing about their break-up and me and my sister were all "NO! NO! NO! NOT THEM!" But we had one summer where we DEVOURED his work -- Peter's Friends, Dead Again, Much Ado, etc. And Peter's Friends is a little melodramatic, but kind of fun. Especially for Stephen Fry's reaction to Emma Thompson character trying to seduce him ("FILL ME WITH YOUR LITTLE BABIES!")

He was fucking hilarious in Wild Wild West. You could tell he amped up the cheese to 11 because he knew it was such an insane movie. And Much Ado is just a gorgeous movie.
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Post  Luthien on Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:27 am

I'd really like to see him take a crack at Macbeth

I would be in raptures if this happened. I love his Shakespeare movies: Much Ado About Nothing is one of my go-to rainy day make me feel better movies. I'm not as big on his Hamlet in comparison with Much Ado or Henry V but it's still a great movie (it's just too darn long for me). He's a good director. I wish he was directing Thor 2; he's proven he understands how to make a comic book movie.

I highly recommend Warm Springs; he plays FDR and was amazing. Branagh knows when to be serious, and when to dial the camp up to eleven (like in Wild Wild West). I liked him as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; I'm not a big fan of that movie but he was good. I would have loved if he'd had a cameo in Order of the Phoenix. And of course, he's Miguel in Road to El Dorado! He and Kevin Kline need to do a live-action buddy movie. As far as I know, Wild Wild West is the only movie they've been in together, and it definitely doesn't count.

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Post  MLIS on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:53 am

Love him. His performance is Much Ado is still my all time favourite Shakespeare performance of all time -- he makes it so natural and flowing, and he has such a cheeky grin through the whole thing. Love it. His Gilderoy Lockhart is also my favourite cameo in all of the HP movies.

If you like a more serious performance, I highly recommend a movie from 2001 called Conspiracy. It is set in 1942 Germany and is about the Wannsee Conference, in which a bunch of high ranking Nazi officers determined the Final Solution. Branagh is absolutely chilling as Reinhard Heydrich, and the brilliant cast includes Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci (two other favourites of mine). It's not a feel good movie by any means, and you'll want to cleanse your palate with Much Ado afterwards, but the performances are breathtaking.

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Post  mokey75 on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:26 am

Cutebutpsycho wrote:I think that he and Emma were my OTP before I knew what OTP meant. I remember hearing about their break-up and me and my sister were all "NO! NO! NO! NOT THEM!"
Me too! I also hated Helena Bonham Carter for a long time for being with him right after. But Emma ended up with Willoughby, so she didn't end up too badly, heh.
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Post  blixie on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:40 am

Oh I loved Ken and Em SO MUCH, I was weirdly prepared for their split though, they were writing journals/letters to each other for Premiere while shooting Frankenstein/Sense & Sensibility respectively and you could really they had the tone of two people whose lives were going in different directions even though they clearly still cared for each other. Even though Em was hooking up with Wise too, I always wondered what the fallout of HBC being with Ken was, I've never noticed if they got over the whole slept with my husband thing.

I LOVE Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and find it hugely underrated, it's definitely the best adaptation of the novel that exists, although of course I also love Whale and Karloff's iconic version as well.

I like his Hamlet too, but it's super self-indulgent in length and in the fact that it feels like an extended Glamour Shots.

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Post  QueenSix on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:53 am

Kenneth Branagh was on BBC TV recently because it was the thirtieth anniversary of the "Billy Plays", set in Northern Ireland. They were unheard of at the time because they were about a family in Belfast at the time when it was considered this no-go area by many, or if you did venture across the border, you were half expecting to be blown up crossing the road somewhere. (About fifteen years ago, I was meeting a friend in Belfast for lunch and she chose seats at the back of the shop because growing up she'd been taught that if an incendiary device went off, she wouldn't be as badly damaged by flying glass and debris).
Anyway, it was really odd watching the clips of the plays and hearing his strong Northern Ireland accent. I'd almost forgotten he was from Belfast, to be honest.

I remember watching Conspiracy when it was on TV. It was an excellent cast but tackling that story? Gave me absolute chills!

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Post  mrinsouciance on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:44 am

I was glad to see a new Wallander series on this summer's Mystery! schedule. Peter's Friends is also one of my favorites.

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Post  puddingcup on Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:42 pm

I used to love him and Emma as a couple together, until they split up and I realized that I really just loved Emma (I'm surprised, but so happy, that Emma and Willoughby are still together). He is talented, but his (literal) liplessness and tendency to chew scenes kind of got on my nerves. I did love Much Ado though. And I have a lot of affection for Peter's Friends. I love ensemble films where the actors are friends in real life. I enjoy them in a pre-reality show type of way, like I can imagine that I know the actors for real. Plus the movies are fun, because the actors seem like they had so much fun making them. (The Anniversary Party is another great one. I guess Ocean's 11 is another one? Parks and Rec sometimes feels like that.)

I like him much better in Wallander, he does world-weary very well. Maybe I'm projecting again, in imagining that KB has just become cynical with age anyway.

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Post  epudom on Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:57 pm

mokey75 wrote:
Cutebutpsycho wrote:I think that he and Emma were my OTP before I knew what OTP meant. I remember hearing about their break-up and me and my sister were all "NO! NO! NO! NOT THEM!"
Me too! I also hated Helena Bonham Carter for a long time for being with him right after. But Emma ended up with Willoughby, so she didn't end up too badly, heh.

Man, Emma should give the rest of womankind tips in landing awesome men - Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Branagh and Willoughby? If I didn't love her so much I'd be mightily jealous.
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Post  Fraoch on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:33 pm

I loved Ken and Em together SO MUCH.

All this talk of his film roles and no love for Swing Kids? Heh.

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Post  Decca on Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:05 pm

He's not in it, but fans of Branagh's work as a director should check out A Midwinter's Tale. It's about a small town putting on a production of Hamlet for Christmas, and it's very funny and sweet. The cast is great, as well.

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Post  Luthien on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:33 pm

All this talk of Kenneth and Emma has reminded me of my absolute favourite part of Much Ado About Nothing: after Hero's disastrous wedding-that-wasn't, Beatrice in the chapel and Benedick comes in and they talk, and he says "I do love nothing in the world so well as you." Oh my god, the way he says it, his face, his eyes--I just melt every time. I've always thought he was speaking to Emma as much as he was to Beatrice.

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Post  Instant Monkeys on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:16 pm

My Ken/Emma movie was Dead Again. Oh, I looooooved that movie. I was also devastated when they broke up.
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Post  laddical on Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:46 pm

Nobody ever believed me when I told them how enjoyableDead Again is. MY PEOPLE!!!!
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Post  sagitare on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:39 am

There are people who don't think Dead Again is awesome??? I can still remember how into it I was in the theatre! That movie rocks!
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Post  Wildog27 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:56 am

Derek Jacobi as
Spoiler:
stuttering fake hypnotic who steals things
? Robin Williams as a
Spoiler:
stock boy psychotherapist
? Andy Garcia?!? How can it NOT be awesome?

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Post  Fraoch on Tue Jun 19, 2012 3:08 am

I love to watch Dead Again with someone who's never seen it, because they always have the same "OMG" reaction when
Spoiler:
Andy Garcia's character says "antiques" and the identities all fall into place.
And now I want to watch it and it isn't streaming on Netflix, boooo.

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Post  slmader on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:23 pm

Obviously I need to see this movie! Thanks for the recommendations!

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