Austin Redux

Liz Ottosson elizabethottosson at
Thu Jun 7 07:46:52 EDT 2001

> >Phyllida Law has played the mother figure, if not biological
> mother, to Emma
> >Thompson in a couple of films, including Much Ado About Nothing
> (one of my
> >favourite films as a teenager) and The Winter Guest.
> Who is she in Much Ado About Nothing (still one of my favourite films)?
> Hallie.

I've forgotten her name, but I think she's the housekeeper, who is flirted
with by Brian Blessed during the masked revels called in honour of the
arrival of the Prince. She also interrupts Benedick and Beatrice later on
during one of their meetings, with one of my favourite lines: "Will you
come..." [pause as she takes in the situation] "presently!"

This was my favourite film for years, until I saw it on the big screen again
about two years ago (after watching it many times on video) and it all
suddenly seemed a bit overstated. I almost regret going to see it again,
because it's spoiled my idea of it. When I first saw it, I was studying two
Shakespearean tragedies for A-level, and just loved the fact that Branagh
had managed to make this film so accessible and so full of light.

It also contains one of my favourite love scenes - the one where Benedick
and Beatrice are in the chapel and he says "...I do love nothing in the
world so well as you." and her faltering reply that " were as well to
say that I do love nothing in the world so well as you!" For the way he says
this line, I will forgive Branagh's uncanny resemblance to Noel Edmunds in
the rest of the film!


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