All Is True ★★½

Look, I wasn't expecting that much from 'All Is True', I thought the trailer looked very creaky but nevertheless I felt like going out to the cinema and this was the only thing on at the local that I hadn't seen. I'd say I was the youngest there by probably around 50 years! That said I was one of the only seven people in the large screen room.

Listening to Kenneth Branagh talking about 'All Is True' and Shakespeare in general, it is evident he has been a fanatic of the bard since his childhood, and that personal affection really comes through in the movie as the director, and Ben Elton's screenplay shows that same compassion too. The problems with the film are that, whilst the pacing and overall feel of the narrative gives it low-key charm, it can be fairly tedious sometimes, and that's down to Elton's uneven script and dialogue. This is a pretty fuddy-duddy film. There's a lot of prancing around in old-fashioned costumes (Ian McKellen falls victim to that), and lines like "bring me some ale boy" etc - you know what I mean. I didn't find the subplot with Susanna and John Hall that interesting, I didn't feel any real chemistry between Lydia Wilson and Hadley Fraser. The most intriguing parts of the film was the stuff about Hamnet and Judith; I knew very little about Shakespeare beforehand, and even though I'm aware people are accusing 'All Is True' of being contrived, this drama that I knew took place in Shakespeare's life was something I found compelling.

In spite of the film's at times botheresomely lounging pace, and scenes of irrelevance, what stopped me from rolling my eyes at the bagginess of the follies was the rather beautiful cinematography. There some really well staged shots in this, and as well as that the colours and textures were very pleasing - a particular example being the lake in the Shakespeares' garden. The candlelight was also very nice. It is a serviceable, well put together film, that cannot be denied. Branagh and DP Zac Nicholson are both very competent at the technicalities, which does contribute to my going slightly more easy on this film then I would normally be. This week I'm on half-term, and because its my GCSEs I have to re-read 'Merchant of Venice', so its nice to know something more about the guy behind those boring English quotes (I'm kidding, I actually like English). Not a good film really, I don't exactly recommend it, but I bet my grandma will like it.