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By The Hollywood Reporter | February 10, 1995
Kenneth Branagh is returning to the low-budget British roots of his earlier successes for his next project, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter," which he scripted and will direct.Mr. Branagh, whose last project, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," was a critical and commercial disappointment, had said he planned to return to a smaller canvas for his next venture. This time, however, unlike in all his previous films, he will not act in the feature, which is privately financed and doesn't yet have a distributor.
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By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,david.zurawik@baltsun.com | May 10, 2009
The opening sequence is visually stunning and ultimately horrifying. It includes a scruffy, middle-aged man rushing through a field abloom in golden blossoms. For a sense of the field, think of the feature film Everything is Illuminated. Only everything here is ominous, as the camera shows him running toward a teenage girl standing in the middle of the sea of gold who is holding what looks like a plastic jug of gasoline. As he waves his badge and screams for her to stop, the girl raises the jug over her head and starts to douse herself with the petrol.
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By Robert W. Butler and Robert W. Butler,Kansas City Star | July 17, 1993
He's slight and wan and has a shapeless, doughy face like a pre-adolescent boy.She has a horsy mouth, a perpetually wrinkled brow, and it's hard to decide what's sharper -- her nose or her jaw line.But put Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in a movie, give TTC them characters and a story to tell, and watch the sparks fly.Catch their current act in the Branagh-directed "Much Ado About Nothing," in which the married couple play Shakespeare's sharp-witted battling lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, and you'll see the most intoxicating kind of movie magic.
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By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | November 15, 2002
Kenneth Branagh is the comic wild card in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Each time the moviemakers flip him into a scene as blowhard wizard Gilderoy Lockhart, he rouses mirth with everything from his dippity-do hairstyle to his gleefully smug tone of voice. Lockhart turns his new position as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry into an opportunity to promote his already best-selling books, including his new autobiography, Magical Me. And when Lockhart realizes that his students will include the celebrated Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
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By Lou Cedrone | August 21, 1991
Kenneth Branagh is one of those actors who is able to transform himself on the screen. He looms large on screen, he's almost handsome and he's certainly persuasive.Branagh is equally persuasive in person, but he is not that tall and looks almost ordinary. You might never assume he is an actor.He is, however, direct and honest in person. He wouldn't know how to dissemble, but then he is only 30 years old."Yes," he says, "I was only 29, a mere slip of a boy when I was nominated for the best actor Academy Award for 'Henry V.'"I have a huge cannon of work," he adds, explaining that he's done only four films.
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By Los Angeles Times | October 4, 1990
HOLLYWOOD -- Jennifer Jason Leigh plays the girlfriend of Billy Baldwin, and Scott Glenn plays a veteran fireman in "Backdraft," Imagine Films' thriller about an arson investigation in Chicago, which also stars Kurt Russell. Ron Howard will direct and Richard B. Lewis will produce Greg Widen's screenplay. Filming on the Universal release began in the Windy City during the summer.Donald Sutherland will star opposite Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh in Paramount's "Dead Again," which Branagh will also direct.
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Staff Correspondent | August 18, 1991
Washington -- Kenneth Branagh, the man who would be king, knows that the best way to become a king is to kill one.That's exactly what the young British actor-director has been doing. Two years ago the then-28-year-old's first movie, Shakespeare's "Henry V," went head to head with the great Laurence Olivier's 1944 classic, scoring -- in the opinion of many critics -- a clear victory.Now Branagh has set out after both Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock in his second movie, "Dead Again," which opens this Friday.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | November 4, 1994
And who was the most important stylistic influence on Kenneth Branagh for his version of "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"? Was it James Whale, director of the 1931 original? Was it Robert Wiene, director of the archetypal German expressionist monster masterpiece, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"? Or possibly even Terrence Fischer, who did the Frankenstein movies for Hammer Films in England in the delirious early '60s?No. I think it was . . . Roone Arledge.What Branagh has done is turn the Mary Shelley novel into "Monday Night Football."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN STAFF | January 19, 1996
It's no accident that the four cinematic treatments of Shakespeare that purists love most are Grigori Kozintsev's Russian-language "Hamlet" and "King Lear," and Akira Kurosawa's Japanese fantasias on "Lear" ("Ran") and "Macbeth" Throne of Blood").Without Shakespeare's sacred, inviolable text, we can enjoy these movies without comparisons to the originals. Even the finest English-language film treatments -- Olivier's "Henry V," "Richard III" and "Othello" -- have been subject to mean-spirited quibbling from the Shakespearean Comintern.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 24, 1997
Alas, poor Hamlet. I knew him, Horatio. He was an amusing, if melancholy, fellow until Kenneth Branagh turned him into Stanley Kowalski.Branagh's new unexpurgated "Hamlet," all 4 1/2 hours of it (including intermission), co-starring a palace (Blenhiem) to say nothing of Charlton Heston and Billy Crystal, is vast, opulent, wide and dispiriting. It should have been called "Kenneth," instead of "Hamlet" for it's more about its star and director than Shakespeare's flawed noble. At the end, you're thinking "Good riddance, sour prince."
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By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC | November 20, 1998
What do actors, models, presidents, the pope, Elvis, Hollywood madams, plastic surgeons, ACLU lawyers, skinheads, teen-age obese acrobats, Joey Buttafuoco, Donald Trump, former CIA operatives, real estate agents, transvestites and Charles Manson have in common?They are all guaranteed their 15 minutes of fame in a post-Warhol world, and they all make an appearance in "Celebrity," Woody Allen's fitfully funny, elegantly rendered musing on American culture's curious relationship to fame."You can tell a lot about a society by whom it chooses to celebrate," one character says in this slight but often droll commentary on the voracious maw of post-modern media culture, which swallows everyone in its path regardless of merit or morals.
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By Ruthe Stein and Ruthe Stein,SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE | November 9, 1997
Helena Bonham Carter knows she has an image problem. Since her first starring role as Jane Grey in the 1985 "Lady Jane," she has been pigeonholed as the queen of costume dramas.Between Merchant-Ivory films ("A Room With a View," "Howards End") and Shakespeare ("Twelfth Night," "Hamlet"), she has worn gowns from almost every period except the present.Because of these films, "There's this image of me as corseted and prim and irredeemably English -- all those things I don't think I am," she complains.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,SUN FILM CRITIC | January 24, 1997
Alas, poor Hamlet. I knew him, Horatio. He was an amusing, if melancholy, fellow until Kenneth Branagh turned him into Stanley Kowalski.Branagh's new unexpurgated "Hamlet," all 4 1/2 hours of it (including intermission), co-starring a palace (Blenhiem) to say nothing of Charlton Heston and Billy Crystal, is vast, opulent, wide and dispiriting. It should have been called "Kenneth," instead of "Hamlet" for it's more about its star and director than Shakespeare's flawed noble. At the end, you're thinking "Good riddance, sour prince."
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By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,SUN STAFF | January 19, 1996
It's no accident that the four cinematic treatments of Shakespeare that purists love most are Grigori Kozintsev's Russian-language "Hamlet" and "King Lear," and Akira Kurosawa's Japanese fantasias on "Lear" ("Ran") and "Macbeth" Throne of Blood").Without Shakespeare's sacred, inviolable text, we can enjoy these movies without comparisons to the originals. Even the finest English-language film treatments -- Olivier's "Henry V," "Richard III" and "Othello" -- have been subject to mean-spirited quibbling from the Shakespearean Comintern.
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By Bill Glauber and Bill Glauber,London Bureau of The Sun | July 14, 1995
London -- So you're a 10-year-old kid, starring in a $45 million movie playing on 1,700 screens in America. Your face is on posters and books. Producers are sending you scripts like you're Robert DeNiro.But you've got a problem.Your parents are sending you to camp up by the North Sea and you don't want to go.What do you do? Hey, you may be a movie star, but you're 10. You go to your room and pack your suitcase.Meet Hal Scardino, the kid next door who could be the child-actor of the summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By The Hollywood Reporter | February 10, 1995
Kenneth Branagh is returning to the low-budget British roots of his earlier successes for his next project, "In the Bleak Mid-Winter," which he scripted and will direct.Mr. Branagh, whose last project, "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," was a critical and commercial disappointment, had said he planned to return to a smaller canvas for his next venture. This time, however, unlike in all his previous films, he will not act in the feature, which is privately financed and doesn't yet have a distributor.
FEATURES
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | May 23, 1993
For an ambassador, he is surprisingly casual, in a black sport shirt and nondescript gray pants. No stiff upper lip, no stiff collar, no rigid and pretentious carriage to him. In fact, what you see is a regular bloke flopped on a couch, a bit puffy of face, under a thatch of reddish hair, attended the body over by the faintest sheathing of pudge.But Kenneth Branagh, at 32, is an ambassador: He's the sole representative of the Republic of Shakespeare, in whose love he has labored and not lost on behalf of the great dead white European male who towers over us all, like it or not. To do Shakespeare, or not to do Shakespeare: That is not the question.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,david.zurawik@baltsun.com | May 10, 2009
The opening sequence is visually stunning and ultimately horrifying. It includes a scruffy, middle-aged man rushing through a field abloom in golden blossoms. For a sense of the field, think of the feature film Everything is Illuminated. Only everything here is ominous, as the camera shows him running toward a teenage girl standing in the middle of the sea of gold who is holding what looks like a plastic jug of gasoline. As he waves his badge and screams for her to stop, the girl raises the jug over her head and starts to douse herself with the petrol.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | November 4, 1994
And who was the most important stylistic influence on Kenneth Branagh for his version of "Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"? Was it James Whale, director of the 1931 original? Was it Robert Wiene, director of the archetypal German expressionist monster masterpiece, "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"? Or possibly even Terrence Fischer, who did the Frankenstein movies for Hammer Films in England in the delirious early '60s?No. I think it was . . . Roone Arledge.What Branagh has done is turn the Mary Shelley novel into "Monday Night Football."
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By Philip Wuntch and Philip Wuntch,Dallas Morning News | November 1, 1994
In Hollywood, married couples sell magazines. Their nuptials make the cover of People. Their divorces make the cover of National Enquirer.But do married couples sell movie tickets? Surprisingly, they often don't. The latest example is Warren Beatty's and Annette Bening's "Love Affair," which debuted the weekend of Oct. 21-23 with a surprisingly weak $5.4 million box-office take.Is it because we really didn't need another "Love Affair" -- TTC especially after its plot points were rehashed in last year's "Sleepless in Seattle"?
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