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Home :: Archive :: 1999 :: April ::
Re: Keanu Does Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.0712  Thursday, 22 April 1999.

From:           Janet Maclellan <
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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?

Cordially,
Janet MacLellan
University of Toronto

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