On the Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Death

Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet (UK/USA 1996) is suggested viewing for everyone (just remember that you need four hours). Like pretty much all film Shakespeare productions, it’s stagy, but any one of Kate Winslet playing Ophelia, Julie Christie playing Gertrude, or Branagh himself as Hamlet would be worth the price of admission alone, and here you get all of them. If you thought I was over-praising Kate Winslet before, watch this and you won’t anymore.

A simpler Shakespeare suggestion for the day is the quasi-documentary Looking for Richard (Al Pacino, USA 1996). It’s messy and impossible to explain but it’s a fun watch and Pacino is just a perfect Richard–everything that has made him something of a self-parody in the last 20 years works in that role.

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