Favorite Nuances

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OK all, time to watch the movie again! Now, submit your favorite acting or text nuances for all to enjoy. I will begin with my favorite which (in my opinion) gets a 10 for sublty. Hamlet, having just talked with the Ghost, is overexcited and trying to deal with his new information when Horatio and Marcellus catch up with him. Horatio, trying to calm him, grabs Hamlet by the collar ("These are but wild and whirling words..."). Hamlet apologizes. Now, here it is, Horatio realizes that he has the prince of Denmark by the collar and suddenly lets go with a gesture that says, "Holy crap, I'm sorry that I grabbed you." and, "Please, Hamlet, get a grip." both at the same time! It only lasts a second, but I love that move just the same! Of course, I have others, but now it's your turn. Name that Nuance!

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), July 23, 1999


ok , it's the wedding, every one is ushering out of the room stuff is flying all over the place, the music is getting gradually louder, and that's what makes this scene so wonderful, camera circles kenneth if I remember right, everyone is out of the room camera goes to his face,

-- eroslight (eroslight@hotmail.com), September 12, 1999.

My favorite part was the way Kate Winslet interpreted Ophelia4s madscene! I thougth it was amazing! I played Ophelia in the school play and I only realized how hard it was to do when I had to do it! I really loved that scene! It always makes me tense...

-- Larissa (tvmaniac31@hotmail.com), December 03, 1999.

Great question! I hope you don't mind if I submit a few favorites, since there haven't been many replies

Comic: 1) V. i. When Simon Beale, the Other or Second Gravedigger, returns with the stoop of liquor he tries to hand it off to Billy Crystal while the procession passes right in front of them. 2) V. ii. Kenneth Branagh's look aside after Robin Williams' line "an absolute gentleman, full of most excellent differences, of very soft society and great showing." It seems as though he can't believe what he is hearing: perfect!

Serious: III. I. The kiss between Winslet and Branagh has so many nuances in it (after "Well, well, well"). It begins where he seems overcome with passion and need for the connection of her love and understanding (even if she doesn't fully understand) having been through so much; then she gives in to her true feelings for him, even for that brief moment, by returning his kiss. She, seemingly realizing that her father and the King are watching, that she has a purpose there, that she has promised to avoid his advances and probably out of some slight fear and confusion over his madness, pushes him away. He looks down at her hands and, realizing his feelings are unrequited (apparently), reveals his breaking heart before our eyes and, most probably within, his burning disdain (which follows); the one person that he thought he could turn to for the warm understanding and compassion of love, unlike the cool comfort of Horatio's even-tempered and rational demeanor. 2) II. i. When Polonious (seemingly?) forgets what he is saying to Reynaldo: "By the mass, I was about to say something! Where did I leave?" The LOOK that Richard Briers gives Depardieu is so cunning and sly. That look seems to say; 'I know where I am in my thoughts but since I really want to know if you are giving your full attention to what I'm saying I'll feign forgetfulness and ("by indirections find directions out") find out whether you are in fact minding my instruction.' Did he actually forget and is trying to remember where he is only; is he trying to see if Reynaldo is paying attention only; or does he forget but figures he may as well test this man anyway. Again, perfect (for this interpretation of Polonious)!

Sorry to give so many, but there are so many

-- Glen (gkandia@prodigy.net), January 22, 2000.

First of all - wonderful question! :) There are indeed so many... Well, I really loved the scene after the play, when Hamlet irritates Rosenacrantz and Guildenstern, and "plays" with them, when they don't even get that. I thought it was played wonderfully! Another nuance I really loved was when Polonius says: "My honourable lord, I will most humbly take my leave of you." And Hamlet answers: "You cannot, sir, take from me any thing that I will more willingly part withal. Except my life, except my life, except my life." Kenneth Branagh did it so well! The first "except my life" is said instantly, the second is said with some thought, Hamlet here thinks desperately of the "except my life", and the third one is actually for Polonius; it is to show him that Hamlet is insane, and what he just said has no meaning or importance.

-- Anat (dayag@hotmail.com), January 22, 2000.

Oh yeah, Anat! You are so right. That thing he does with the eyes is way cool. How about right after that with R&G? He's really happy to see them, then... suspicion. That sudden shift of emotion let's you know from the start that these guys are not about to become two more Horatios for our hero. All three did this so well together that there is little room for doubt about their feelings despite the cryptic language ("Denmark's a prison...").

-- mikken (mikken@neo.rr.com), February 04, 2000.

Overall, Branagh's total spontanaity and naturalness: how refreshing - not acting H, IS H + he gets all the charm in where he can, so you know this is the once promising, brilliant, popular prince. "To be etc": thank God for an intellectual approach to this mental debate + Claudius' face behind the mirror when H pulls out his bodkin. The slipping of Ophelia's letter from H into H's charming, loving voice in a flashback love scene. The filthy look H gives Claudius while pulling his arm away just after killing C. All of Nicholas Farrell's reaction acting. "Let be" + tear + hug - what need

-- catherine england (catherineamer@hotmail.com), October 03, 2001.

I've thought of some more. H's hand closing on air as ghost vanishes. H and Horatio mouthing "imponed". The fact that Claudius and H are so much alike (they are closely related, after all) except that Claudius has a "vicious mole of nature in" him. Polonius' eyes while he lies dead on the floor: Branagh is so aware of all the (often macabre) comedy the play offers as well as trag

-- catherine england (catherineamer@hotmail.com), October 04, 2001.

One of my favorite scenes out of the very many that there are, is the manner in which K. Branaugh states, (re: his mother's marriage,) "she m-a-r-r-i-e-d, oh most wicked speed." His tone is so PERFECT to express his absolute disgust with his mother. I also enjoyed the scenes in which Hamlet and Polonius were together. The comments and gestures were incredibly comical.

-- Laurie Verson (oprn60@hotmail.com), January 07, 2002.

Ha! If there were only one or at least only ten or...I love all the minutes and all the seconds of the film. What about the first time that Hamlet appears, for example? It is the weeding, everybody is celebrating such a great event, courtiers are cheering, the queen is smiling, the king is talking proudly of all he is going to do to Fortinbras...And then the camera just changes its point of view, it withdraws, it looks behind the guests' backs and it finds Him - a man who is just the contrary to everything and everybody in the throne room - dressed in black, sad, solemn and silent. And that is only one of the scenes proving that Kenneth Branagh is a genious, as an actor and as a director.

-- (anna.zapart@wp.pl), January 26, 2002.

This, which is not from the film, but from the making of doco called 'To Be On Camera' (collective groan? - oh well), which someone very kindly sent me a copy of. It's a clip of Branagh rehearsing or filming the sword fight with Maloney, where Laertes throws Hamlet over his back. They do it, and Branagh runs off the set towards the camera filming the doco. And you see Hamlet become Kenneth Branagh. It's fascinating.

Also, I've just got the four-hour version after four years of looking, saints and CC be praised. So here are some more.

IT'S THE WHOLE THING!!! And boy, does it work best in full!

Plus, Hamlet's library - he's got more books than my local. The way Branagh brings out 'must unpack my heart with WORDS' in the 'rogue and peasant slave' speech. Derek Jacobi immobile and riveting in III.iii, 'O my offence is rank! ...'. And the shot of Hamlet from the middle distance in I.v as he collapses in the dirt for 'O earth! ...': the wintry trees, the snow, the dark blue sky, the black coat, Branagh saying the words: wow.

-- catherine england (catherine_england@hotmail.com), March 04, 2002.

I'll kick in right away for I have many favorites. When Hamlet tells Polonius that he is a fishmonger, he said it in an obviously mocking way as if it was ridiculous to even ask.Branaghs "HEH"'s are perfect.When the guards are searching for him after he killed Polonius and he seems uneasy then he says a hilarious "Here they come" supporting himself on a pillar and as Rosencratz and Guildenstrene enter from the secret door he tiptoes a few steps behind them before they see him. The whole sponge thing with Hamlet trying obviously to escape but with each turn more guards appear, the chase was great. After the play the way he handles Ros AND Guild was wonderful, in a looney tune sort of way. Especially when Polonius enters as hewas yelling at them holding the pipe and then he abruptly changes his tone and manner arguing with the councelor aver a cloud not there.When he kissed his uncle calling him motherand expressing himself to Hratio with his face without words as he is dragged to England. I have like agizillion others but I think these are the main.

-- Areej Shoubaki (ajbab5stdune@yahoo.com), May 22, 2002.

Okay, there is a moment that makes me laugh out very loud. Hamlet has delivered his speech to the players, and Polonius says (and I do not have the play in front of me so I may be paraphrasing), "Well spoken my Lord, with good accent and good discretion". Branagh then gives Briers the most wonderful look. That is what kills me. There are some wonderful subtle moments, things I have not noticed such as Makken's first that he mentioned. Branagh's heartrending "I'll no more on't. It hath made me mad" never fails to send shivers. I'll think of some more. It is bed time for me now.

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), March 03, 2003.

Just the look on Branagh's face when the ghost of King Hamlet appears again in Gertrudes bedroom. And the playing that follows: "On him...On him..."

It hath made me cry!

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), March 11, 2003.

The scene where he's toying with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern - "No more but to the matter, my mother you say," and Tim Spall's angry "Then thus she says!" Then, "Have. You. Any. Further. Trade. With. Us?" WHO would think of playing it like that only KB? Cracks me up!

Richard Briers' little laugh when he says, "Indeed, that IS out of the air!"

-- Eimear (eimear_ryan@oceanfree.net), March 16, 2003.

Yes, both of those are great. "And thus she says!" Haha

And yes, I love that little laugh Briers does. Also I love the way he says "He thought I was a fishmonger!"

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), March 16, 2003.

Sorry. "THEN thus she says" and "He SAID I was a fishmonger". heh heh

-- Patrick Walker (criesandwhispers666@yahoo.com), March 17, 2003.

Just watched it again - "Aye, and any show that you will show him. Be not ashamed to show, he'll not shame to tell you what it means." Delivered in roughly 2.5 seconds. KB's verbal dexterity is occasionally frightening.

-- Eimear (eimear_ryan@oceanfree.net), June 11, 2003.

I love the "Confetti shot". What a great eye. With our hero's back to the camera, as the confetti falls. BRILLIANT camera shot. I bet even S. Spielberg said "Wow. What a shot." when he saw that. Then the expressions he shares with Horatio before the sword battle. What an actor/Director. Hurry up with that DVD!!!

-- john perkins (jperkinsm1@excite.com), July 18, 2003.

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