Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
Director: Joss Whedon
I have always enjoyed Shakespeare, and have even enjoyed the odd film adaptation of his plays. While many don't rate his comedies as highly as his more serious fare, I really like both A Midsummer Night's Dream and Much Ado About Nothing, and would probably say they are two of my favourites (behind Macbeth). Much Ado feels like a forerunner for many of my favourite films: the witty banter between Benedick and Beatrice is echoed in It Happened One Night, Nick and Nora in The Thin Man series, Sally and Harry in When Harry Met Sally; really, any romantic comedy couple.
This is a smart and stylish adaptation. Oddly, it is similar in many ways to Susanne Bier's Love is All You Need, as it involves a group of people staying at a villa/ mansion who are dealing with small personal crises that shuffle around the guests. Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof are very good as Beatrice and Benedick, clearly on top of the language. Indeed, everyone wears their characters well. The black-and-white cinematography is lovely; it not only evokes films like The Philadelphia Story, but also allows for a greater suspension of disbelief. We are not in the 'real' world, but a fictional film world.
I really enjoyed this, and now have a great desire to visit the play again.