Much Ado About Nothing

Emma’s role: Beatrice
Directed by: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay by: Kenneth Branagh
Original play by: William Shakespeare
Genre: Comedy
Release date: US – 7 May 1993, UK – 27 August 1993

Other cast:
Kate Beckinsale – Hero
Imelda Staunton – Margaret
Denzel Washington – Don Pedro
Keanu Reeves – Don John
Robert Sean Leonard – Claudio
Kenneth Branagh – Benedick
Michael Keaton – Dogberry
Phyllida Law – Ursula

When gallant Don Pedro, his nefarious brother Don John, and close confidantes Claudio and Benedick ride thunderously into the Sicilian village of Messina, romance, gaiety, and suspicion abound. The men have returned safely from a war, and soon everyone in the sun-drenched villa is abuzz with thoughts of love. Claudio, enamored of the purity of the nubile Hero, entreats Don Pedro to woo the maiden on his behalf that evening at a masked ball. Once he’s managed the successful betrothal of Hero to Claudio, Don Pedro has another plot in mind: he plans to trick Hero’s bantering cousin Beatrice and sworn bachelor Benedick into acknowledging they’ve fallen in love. Meanwhile, the villainous Don John, driven by contempt for his compatriots, has hatched a plot of his own: to fool Claudio and Don Pedro into believing Hero is unchaste. The plot works perfectly: sensitive but volatile Claudio denounces her publicly on their wedding day. All seems lost, and soon the attempts to set things right include a formal duel, a scheming friar, a mock memorial and a gaggle of bumbling constables.

Much of the singing was not re-recorded.
Like the 1966 film, this film casts a real-life (at the time) married couple in the leads. In the earlier film, it was Robert Stephens and Maggie Smith. In this film, it is Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson.