Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 28 August 2014

As You Like It (12A)

Kenneth Branagh gamely continues to put Shakespeare on film, and audiences continue to ignore them.





He's really up against it here: the only way you could make the spiralling absurdities of As You Like It work would be to transform it into a fast-paced comedy. Instead, Branagh has laboured over a stilted combination of 19th-century Japanese imperialism and 17th-century English pastoral, within which the romantic shenanigans of Rosalind (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Orlando (David Oyelowo) feel isolated and unengaging.



The two leads give decent performances, less endearing are the minor characters: Alfred Molina as Touchstone, Janet McTeer as Audrey and the egregious Brian Blessed in a double ducal role – the man is less an actor than a town crier. It hardly matters, for the contrivances of the plot and the sluggishness of the pace would undo better performers.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Virgo:

Working on a journal can help you process troubling feeling. It's healthy to have a place where you can express yourself without fear of censure. Social media is all well and good, but it's not a place to be totally uninhibited. Save your innermost thoughts for a diary. A troubled romance has been weighing on your mind. You're tired of compromising for the sake of a demanding partner. Being more assertive is critical to the survival of your relationship. You should have your desires met, too.More