You can read 19 more articles this month
All Is True (12A)
Directed by Kenneth Branagh
KENNETH BRANAGH’S fascinating depiction of the Bard’s twilight existence opens in 1613 with Shakespeare — an unrecognisable Branagh, in a role he was born to play — watching in horror as his beloved Globe Theatre burns to the ground.
It happens during the first production of All Is True, the alternative title of his play Henry VIII, and in devastation he returns to Stratford-upon-Avon to his wife Anne Hathaway (Judi Dench) and two daughters (Lydia Wilson and Kathryn Wilder), whom he has barely seen in the past 20 years.
To hammer the point home, Hathaway offers him the guest bedroom with its the best bed — he is indeed a guest in his own house.
He also mourns the death of his only son Hamnet when he was 11 years old and decides to create a memorial garden in his name.
Branagh, who directs, and screenwriter Ben Elton take a few known facts about the Bard at this time and fill in the gaps to deliver a family drama full of warmth and humour, scandal and surprising twists.
It depicts Shakespeare as a genius playwright but a flawed man who has difficulty dealing with retirement, while his family find it equally hard to adjust to his presence 24/7.
His constant eulogising of his son’s promising gift for poetry causes increasing tension with his unmarried youngest twin daughter Judith (Wilder), who’s suffering both survivor’s guilt and the inequality of her sex in a society which valued sons over daughters.
Dench is sublime as the acerbic and long-suffering wife who delivers a few home truths to her renowned husband, including her humiliation at the inspiration for his sonnets and his secret passion for the Earl of Southampton, played magnificently by Sir Ian McKellen in a film-stealing scene.
With its stunningly shot landscape, this is a rich and captivating labour of love by Branagh and the underlying issues the film raises still resonate.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.