Review

Kenneth Branagh’s love affair with all things Shakespeare continues with All Is True.

After his movie adaptions of Henry V (1989) and Hamlet (1996) and his year long run at London’s Garrick Theatre in 2015, where his theatre company produced Shakespeare’s plays “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Winter’s Tale”, he plays Shakespeare in All Is True.

The year is 1613, Shakespeare (Branagh) is acknowledged as the greatest writer of the age. But disaster strikes when his renowned Globe Theatre burns to the ground, and devastated, Shakespeare returns to Stratford, where he must face a troubled past and a neglected family. Haunted by the death of his only son Hamnet, he struggles to mend the broken relationships with his wife (Judi Dench) and daughters Judith (Kathryn Wilder) and Susanna (Lydia Wilson). In so doing, he is ruthlessly forced to examine his own failings as husband and father. His very personal search for the truth uncovers secrets and lies within a family at war.

Scripted by Ben Elton, All Is True, the title refers to the alternative title for Henry VII which was the play that was performing when the Globe burned to the ground, is more soap opera with a dash of Shakespeare thrown in. One stand out Shakespearean moment is when Shakespeare exchanges sonnets’ with the third Earl of Southampton, Sir Henry Wriothesley (Sir Ian McKellan) as they sit by the fire. The soap opera sees him fighting his demons as he tries to come to terms with the death of his young son Hamnet and his constant fighting with Hamnet’s twin sister Judith.

All Is True is a dark and mournful story where nothing good ever happens to any of the characters however Branagh manages to bring enough twists and turns to the story line to keep you interested until the very end.

Recommended



All Is True (12A)

1h 41m

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Starring: Juli Jakab, Vlad Ivanov, Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen

UK Release: Friday 8th February 2019






All Is True - "Becoming Shakespeare" Featurette

All Is True - "Family Drama" Featurette