In my article last week, I discussed the fact that I am not a big fan of Shakespeare, but I had very high hopes for Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing that premiered last week at the Cedar Lee. I know all 7 of you have lost sleep over whether or not my hopes were met. Well, you can rest easy because that movie was an absolute delight. I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t even mind the fact that I was third-wheeling with my friend and his new companion; a conscious choice on my part to avoid being the weird guy who goes to see Shakespeare alone on a Friday night. There truly aren’t enough good things I can say about Much Ado. It is by far the most accessible Shakespeare film adaptation I have ever seen. It was significantly better than Baz Luhrman’s gaudy monstrosity, Romeo + Juliet. The cinematography wasn’t over-stylized despite it being black and white. The performances were not as opulent and forcibly proper as many adaptations. Much Ado has now joined the very short list of Shakespeare-inspired films I enjoy along with Gildenstein and Rosencrantz are Dead (1990). I highly recommend it to anyone who may have been on the fence like I was, and I especially recommend it to anyone wishing to break into the Shakespeare film world.
This is kind of a light week for limited release, but there is a potentially wonderful documentary premiering at the Cedar Lee…
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks at the Cedar Lee
Premiering June 28
Synopsis: Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney’s “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks” details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Hailed by some as a free-speech hero and by others as a traitor and terrorist, the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers, revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of the government’s international diplomacy and military strategy.
I’m going to strategically avoid commenting on the content of this documentary even though my Political Science degree is staring at me like I’m a traitor. Alex Gibney has made a few very good documentaries. Two of my personal favorites were Enron: The Smartest Men in the Room and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. I highly recommend both of them to anyone who has a Netflix account. Gibney seems to have a penchant for making biographical and political documentaries. This new one seems to blend both categories as it discusses Julian Assange and the organization with which he is associated. This is definitely a documentary that was begging to, and needed, to be made. My only hope is that Gibney manages some semblance of objectivity as he is dealing with an extremely hotly-debated subject matter. I have a sneaking suspicion that we will see this film on the Oscar ballot next year. I’d hope that anyone with an opinion (or even no opinion) will see this documentary, so that the spark of information might create a conflagration of informed, civil, debate.