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Kenneth Branagh · UK · 2018 · 102 mins · PG
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Sir Kenneth Branagh has spent a major part of his career interpreting the works of William Shakespeare. So it only seems fair that Branagh should be the one to play the Bard in All Is True, directing a mesmerizing meditation on the last days of the greatest writer in the English language.
Little is known for sure about the details of Shakespeare’s life. But as Shakespeare says in the film, “I never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Neither does Branagh.

As All is True begins, in 1613, Shakespeare has returned to his home in Stratford-upon-Avon to retire after years of prodigious productivity. His wife Anne Hathaway (Dame Judi Dench), eight years his senior, treats him like a guest in his own house. His daughters harbor festering resentments.

It’s a telling irony that the women in Shakespeare’s time were never taught to read and write. Yet Dench, in a magisterial performance that never misses a trick, makes Anne a woman you trifle with at your peril. The Earl of Southampton (Ian McKellen) is believed to be the inspiration for several of Will’s most famous poems and sonnets. A conversation between the two men, wittily and movingly acted by Branagh and McKellen, is a high point in a film that cinematographer Zac Nicholson bathes in the autumnal light of time remembered.
–Rolling Stone

“In this lovely ode to a literary master, Branagh shows us what his hero always understood—that life may be an endlessly unfolding mystery, but in art, all is true.”
“A fiercely intelligent and poignant drama about family, grief and the tyranny of genius.” –Times (UK)
Cast Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen
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