Friday, November 26, 2010

the play's the thing!

I've been on a Hamlet kick this week. Found this. Funny stuff.

Now, check out a real version:

2009 Royal Shakespeare Company's very cool and engaging version with David Tennant as a quite bi-polar Hamlet and Patrick Stewart as a cold, cold Claudius. This was the same cast that performed the play at Stratford at the RSC; there is a few "company" feel to the production, even though it was filmed on location, not on stage. Really, really cool camera work. Not too modern to be weird, though. No liberties with the story, either. Stewart won an Olivier Award for his performance.

1996 lush and epic version with a brooding Kenneth Branaugh and regal Derek Jacobi; Kate Winslet is a beautiful and heartbroken Ophelia.

1990 version with Mel Gibson before he went off the deep end; Glenn Close, Alan Bates and Helena Bonham Carter

1948 with Laurence Olivier. Gold standard and classic, but honestly (please no tomatoes), the Branaugh and Tennant versions are so much more engaging, not because of the color but because of the emotional whiplash portrayed by the actors. Olivier is just so controlled.

Do yourself a favor and skip the Ethan Hawke version -- Denmark Corporation? Really???


Yarnjeannie said...

Cool post! Thanks for the links. You are right about Gibson - whoa! Scary dude...

Bright Sky Mom said...

That was a funny 60 seconds -- I remember reading the play in high school. Maybe we'll do a Shakespeare year, next year!

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