Kenneth Branagh has been around long enough by now that some of his earliest starring film roles have something almost quaint about them. But there’s nothing at all quaint about his Henry V. Both the film, which he directed, and his performance as Henry are so self-assured and spirited that even his St. Crispin’s Day speech, delivered against a predictable backdrop of heroic strings and horns, still manages to inspire. Above all, one senses Branagh’s — and the whole cast’s — unabashed love for Shakespeare. Then again, offered the chance to give voice to words like those in the “band of brothers” speech, who can blame them?
See also: Olivier’s 1944 version and Gus Van Sant’s at-once gritty and ethereal My Own Private Idaho.
Next Coriolanus (2011)