TIFF Movie Review – Much Ado About Nothing (2012)

Much Ado About Nothing, 2012.

Directed by Joss Whedon.

Starring Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Ashley Johnson, Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Sean Maher, Riki Lindhome and Spencer Treat Clark.


Sibling rivalry leads to a series of romantic miscommunications that threatens the ability of a young couple to marry.

Considering he is known for writing witty and clever dialogue it is not stretch for Joss Whedon to try his hand in adapting a play by legendary wordsmith, William Shakespeare. Interestingly, the filmmaker has decided to have his actors speak in Old English, have a modern location, and to make use of black and white photography; initially all three of these elements seem out of place but they eventually gel into a cohesive unit thanks to the large part to the cast members having a fun time with their roles.

Humour is present in the form of Nathan Fillion as the bumbling police detective and the slapstick antics as people seek to eavesdrop without being caught. The story takes place at house which serves as the singular setting for the picture which probably cost much less to make than the catering budget for The Avengers (2012). Each shot is carefully mapped out and assembled into sequences. The camera is not always stationary but the movements are subtle so never to distract from the action on the big screen. To breakup the dialogue heavy affair visual montages driven by music are effectively incorporated.

With the visual scope being so restrictive one has to wonder if the project is best suited for the small screen; you can image it being played as part of a 1950s TV playhouse program. Nevertheless Joss Whedon improvises to get full production value out of his location and actors. Even though there is villainy, tears, and reputations slandered, nothing is taken too seriously; Much Ado About Nothing remains as what William Shakespeare intended it to be – a guilty pleasure.

Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★

Trevor Hogg

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