Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 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:

Your partner may be irresponsible with money and you're tired of paying the price for it. Keeping separate financial accounts may be the arrangement for the two of you. If your amour continues to accumulate debt without fear of the consequences, it may be time to part ways. You're a practical person who yearns for financial security. Putting money into a savings account gives you the freedom to travel, write and study. Don't be ashamed of your needs; they encompass your personality.More