All Is True chronicles the mysterious final three years of William Shakespeare’s life and has an accomplished all-star cast including Dame Judy Dench (from left) as Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway, director Sir Kenneth Branagh as William Shakespeare and Sir Ian McKellen as the Earl of Southampton. Photo submitted

All is True: a charming look at Shakespeare’s later years

The Williams Lake Film Club is excited to bring All is True to the lakecity on Friday, November 1

Williams Lake Film Club

Special to The Tribune

The Williams Lake Film Club is excited to bring All is True to the Gibraltar Room on Friday, November 1st at 7 p.m.

If you think of Shakespeare and film, probably the first name that comes to mind is five-time Oscar nominee, Sir Kenneth Branagh. His adaptations include, among others, Henry VIII, Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet. He’s back focusing on the Bard once again, but this time the subject is not a play adaption, but rather a film that takes creative license to explore the last three years of Shakespeare’s life. In All is True, Branagh both stars as Shakespeare and directs.

Little is known about the last three years of Shakespeare’s life, and the facts we do have start as the basis for the film. The year is 1613, and during a performance of his final play, Henry VIII, Shakespeare’s beloved Globe Theatre in London is burned to a crisp.

In fact, All is True is the alternate title of Shakespeare’s Henry VIII. At a loss, and sworn off writing, Shakespeare retreats to his place of birth, Stratford-Upon-Avon, to reunite with his wife Anne Hathaway (in a fabulous understated performance by Dame Judy Dench), and his daughters, Susanna (Lydia Wilson) and Judith (Kathryn Wilder).

Read More: Williams Lake Film Club begins 2019-2020 season with The Biggest Little Farm

Their reception is not the welcome he was hoping for, and they seem hardly thrilled at his return. His wife is frosty, and treats him as a house guest, whereas his daughters resent his prolonged absence of twenty years. Meanwhile, Shakespeare is preoccupied with mourning over the death of their only son, Hamnet, who passed away at the age of 11 many years earlier. While Anne and her daughters mourned Hamnet long ago, they can only be exasperated by his obsessive grieving all these years later.

Ben Elton – a long time writer of the British comedy Blackadder – has created a mostly compelling screenplay of family drama, sprinkled with dry humour, and presents us with a portrait of a man struggling to come to terms with the meaning of his life. All is True takes substantial creative license in dramatizing those years, but ultimately Elton has penned a plausible and compelling tale based on what little is known, much in the same way Shakespeare did in his plays.

The story has plenty going on. His daughter Judith marries a man with an illegitimate child, while his other daughter Susanna is taken to court for adultery, which slanders the family name. The screenplay shines a spotlight on the women in Shakespeare’s life, and the inequalities of living in a patriarchal society for women at that time.

Branagh does a marvelous job of bringing Shakespeare to the screen, and with a fake nose, a bald domed head and beard, he looks the part. His strength is that he portrays Shakespeare as a man with flaws, a believable character who despite his success is plagued by insecurities.

Judi Dench provides Anne Hathaway with a steely common sense and is a joy to behold. Sir Ian McKellen also makes a magnificent appearance as the Earl of Southampton. Additionally, the film is beautiful to look at and was mostly shot in the Stratford area. The costumes are excellent, as is the cinematography. All interior shots were filmed by natural light or candlelight.

Read More: New film club organizer excited to bring TIF to lakecity

As Peter Travers, in his Rolling Stone review notes, “…[Branagh’s] real achievement lies in capturing the internal life of an aging genius who claims that he’s lived so long in fictional worlds of his own imagining that he’s ‘lost sight of what is real.’ Branagh’s performance is a triumph of ferocity and feeling that shuns Shakespeare the literary rock star to find the flawed, touchingly human man inside.”

General admission tickets are $12 and student and seniors (65+) pay $10. Advance tickets are for sale at the Open Book and will also be available for purchase at the door.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m., show starts at 7 p.m.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Two of the three grizzly cubs that were relocated to Smithers after their mother was killed (Caitlin Thompson photo)
Bella Coola residents urged to secure attractants after two sow grizzlies killed

One sow was a mother to three cubs of the year, which have been transported to Smithers

Chief Joe Alphonse, tribal chairman of the Tsilhqot’in Nation is pictured at Farwell Canyon, B.C. Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Tsilhqot’in Nation honours war chiefs with virtual celebration

Current chiefs provide video messages on Lhats’asʔin Memorial Day

Troy McMillan was flown to a Vancouver hospital Oct. 18 after falling into the boards while playing hockey Oct. 11. (Submitted Photo)
Quesnel family “overwhelmed” by support after hockey injury

Troy McMillan is fighting for his life after tumbling into the boards Oct. 11

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

Some of the characters in the League of Legends video game. (Photo: na.leagueoflegends.com)
E-sports trial at B.C. high schools to start with ‘League of Legends’ team game

For fall launch, Vancouver’s GameSeta company partners with BC School Sports

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health sees 31 new cases of COVID-19 over record-breaking weekend

Eighty-six cases remain active and one person is hospitalized with the virus

(Pxfuel)
B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

VicPD and B.C. Conservation Officer Service teamed up to free two bucks who were entangled in a fishing net and dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them. (VicPD)
VIDEO: Police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

Bucks were also dragging a wheelbarrow sized piece of driftwood behind them

A heavy police presence was spotted in Lumby, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Facebook)
Police situation leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Okanagan school

Police call for social media blackout in ongoing incident

Most Read