The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0712 Thursday, 22 April 1999.
Date: Wednesday, 21 Apr 1999 13:05:08 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Keanu Does Shakespeare
Comment: SHK 10.0704 Re: Keanu Does Shakespeare
Mike Jensen wrote: "I don't take your point about [Keanu Reeves's]
performance in Branagh's film."
How very odd. I thought I had carefully avoided making one.
Since my post about the stylization of Don John's prose has now twice
been interpreted as a defense of Reeves's delivery in Branagh's Much
Ado, perhaps I should make it clear that I too was unhappy with his
performance. In deference to the "If you can't say anything nice..."
principle, I aimed to restrict my remarks to DJ's language itself,
eschewing any comment on Reeves's delivery of it.
I fully agree with Mike Jensen that a skilled actor should be capable of
rising to the challenge posed by difficult text. Branagh's tendency, as
a director, to dodge this challenge when casting his clowns has been
discussed by others on SHAKSPER. He seems to have executed a similar
dodge when casting Reeves as Don John-which is why I called his choice
"oddly appropriate." (It was a wee joke, you see.)
My apologies to the list at large for further drawing out this thread.
Why is it that corrections and clarifications-arguably the life and soul
of spoken conversation-seem so insufferably tedious when translated into
the medium of the listserv?
University of Toronto