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Critic's Pick

'Much Ado About Nothing'

November 13, 1994|Kenneth Turan

The crowning pleasure of watching Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh (pictured) in this rollicking 1993 version of Shakespeare's antic comedy is seeing the English-speaking world's reigning acting couple perform at the top of their game. Directed by Branagh and adapted by him, "Much Ado" is a merry yet pointed tale of lovers at cross-purposes, of the misunderstandings that can divide them and the true emotion that must inevitably deposit them in each other's arms. And in Beatrice and Benedick, Shakespeare created perhaps his most pleasing--if not most verbally energetic--couple. Seeing Thompson and Branagh play off each other is an enormous pleasure for lovers of the romance of language as well as the fanciers of romantic love. With Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Robert Sean Leonard and Michael Keaton (Disney Channel Sunday at 10 p.m., Monday at 4 a.m.).

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