Twice monthly, The CFR is delighted to feature articles from our partner ArtsNash. The journalists at ArtsNash cover the eclectic and growing arts scene of Nashville, Tennessee.
Follow ArtsNash on Facebook and Twitter.
This film review was written by Evans Donnell.
I like renditions of William Shakespeare’s plays best when elaborate costumes and sets take a break and the Bard’s words simply get to breathe. Now, it’s true the rather fabulous Southern California house director Joss Whedon uses for his modern-dress, black-and-white Much Ado About Nothing isn’t a humble abode (it’s the house he lives in with wife and fellow producer Kai Cole – an architect that designed it – and their family), but this sleek and sure-footed adaptation is no fuss, no mess and absolutely no bother.
Whedon shot the feature over 12 days between principal photography and post-production on his mega-hit The Avengers. The “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel” creator brought together some familiar faces – Amy Acker is Beatrice to Alexis Denisof’s Benedick – and some new ones to take what is essentially a screwball comedy (with some admittedly darker elements) and give it an appropriately, though nicely balanced, Hollywood garnish. It took the Toronto Film Festival by storm and has now arrived at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville.
The witty barbs that fly between Beatrice and Benedick turn from disdain to declarations of love thanks to a conspiracy between Don Pedro (Reed Diamond), Count Claudio (Fran Kranz), Hero (Jillian Morgese), Leonato (Clark Gregg) and others that bring them together. The nefarious Don John (Sean Maher) has a plot of his own, though, to undo the altar-bound love Claudio and Hero have for each other; will that mountain of malapropism known as Dogberry (Nathan Fillion) be able to discover and thwart the evil-doing in time?