Kenneth Branagh

Sir Kenneth Charles Branagh (/ˈbrænə/; born 10 December 1960)[1] is a Northern Irish actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Branagh trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and in 2015 succeeded Richard Attenborough as its president. He has both directed and starred in several film adaptations of William Shakespeare's plays, including Henry V (1989) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Director), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Othello (1995), Hamlet (1996) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay), Love's Labour's Lost (2000), and As You Like It (2006).

Branagh has starred in numerous other films and television series including Fortunes of War (1987), Woody Allen's Celebrity (1998), Wild Wild West (1999), as the voice of Miguel in The Road to El Dorado (2000), as SS leader Reinhard Heydrich in Conspiracy (2001), Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002), Warm Springs (2005), as Major General Henning von Tresckow in Valkyrie (2008), The Boat That Rocked (2009), Wallander (2008–2016), My Week with Marilyn (2011) as Sir Laurence Olivier (Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), and as Royal Navy Commander Bolton in the action-thriller Dunkirk (2017). He has directed such films as Dead Again (1991), in which he also starred, Swan Song (1992) (Academy Award nominated for Best Live Action Short Film), Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) in which he also starred, The Magic Flute (2006), Sleuth (2007), the blockbuster superhero film Thor (2011), the action thriller Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014) in which he also co-stars, the live-action film Cinderella (2015), and the mystery drama adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express (2017), in which he also starred as Hercule Poirot.

He narrated the series Cold War (1998), the BBC documentary miniseries Walking with Dinosaurs (1999) (as well as The Ballad of Big Al), Walking with Beasts (2001) and Walking with Monsters (2005). Branagh has been nominated for five Academy Awards, five Golden Globe Awards, and has won three BAFTAs, and an Emmy Award. He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours and was knighted on 9 November 2012.[2] He was made a Freeman of his native city of Belfast in January 2018.[3]


Kenneth Branagh
KennethBranaghApr2011
Branagh in April 2011
Born
Kenneth Charles Branagh

10 December 1960 (age 58)
NationalityBritish
Alma materRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Occupation
Years active1981–present
Home townReading, Berkshire, England
Spouse(s)
Partner(s)Helena Bonham Carter
(1994–1999)

Early life

Branagh, the middle of three children, was born in Belfast, the son of working class Protestant parents Frances (née Harper) and William Branagh, a plumber and joiner who ran a company that specialised in fitting partitions and suspended ceilings.[4] He lived in the Tigers Bay area of the city[5] and was educated at Grove Primary School.[6]

At the age of nine, he moved with his family to Reading, Berkshire, England, to escape the Troubles.[7][8] He was educated at Whiteknights Primary School and Meadway School, a local comprehensive in Tilehurst,[9][10] where he appeared in school productions such as Toad of Toad Hall[11] and Oh, What a Lovely War!.[12] At school, he acquired Received Pronunciation to avoid bullying. On his identity today he has said, "I feel Irish. I don't think you can take Belfast out of the boy", and he attributes his "love of words" to his Irish heritage.[13][14] He attended the amateur Reading Cine & Video Society (now called Reading Film & Video Makers)[15] as a member and was a keen member of Progress Theatre for whom he is now the patron. After disappointing A'levels results in English, History and Sociology[16], Branagh nonetheless went on to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.[17] In 1980 the Principal of RADA, Hugh Cruttwell, asked Branagh to perform a soliloquy from Hamlet for Queen Elizabeth II, during one of her visits to the academy.[18]

Career

Theatre

Branagh achieved some early measure of success in his native Northern Ireland for his role as Billy, the title character in the BBC's Play for Today[19] trilogy known as the Billy Plays (1982–84), written by Graham Reid and set in Belfast.

He received acclaim in the UK for his stage performances, first winning the 1982 SWET Award for Best Newcomer, for his role as Judd in Julian Mitchell's Another Country, after leaving RADA. Branagh was part of the 'new wave' of actors to emerge from the Academy. Others included Jonathan Pryce, Juliet Stevenson, Alan Rickman, Anton Lesser, Bruce Payne and Fiona Shaw. In 1984 he appeared in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Henry V, directed by Adrian Noble. The production played to sold out audiences, especially at the Barbican in the City of London. It was this production that he adapted for the film version of the play in 1989. He and David Parfitt founded the Renaissance Theatre Company in 1987, following success with several productions on the London 'Fringe', including Branagh's full-scale production of Romeo and Juliet at the Lyric Studio, co-starring with Samantha Bond. The first major Renaissance production was Branagh's Christmas 1987 staging of Twelfth Night at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, starring Richard Briers as Malvolio and Frances Barber as Viola, and with an original score by actor, musician and composer Patrick Doyle, who two years later was to compose the music for Branagh's film adaptation of Henry V. This Twelfth Night was later adapted for television.

Branagh became a major presence in the media and on the British stage when Renaissance collaborated with Birmingham Rep for a 1988 touring season of three Shakespeare plays under the umbrella title of Renaissance Shakespeare on the Road, which also played a repertory season at the Phoenix Theatre in London. It featured directorial debuts for Judi Dench with Much Ado About Nothing (starring Branagh and Samantha Bond as Benedick and Beatrice), Geraldine McEwan with As You Like It, and Derek Jacobi directing Branagh in the title role in Hamlet, with Sophie Thompson as Ophelia. Critic Milton Shulman of the London Evening Standard wrote: "On the positive side Branagh has the vitality of Olivier, the passion of Gielgud, the assurance of Guinness, to mention but three famous actors who have essayed the role. On the negative side, he has not got the magnetism of Olivier, nor the mellifluous voice quality of Gielgud nor the intelligence of Guinness."[20]

A year later in 1989 Branagh co-starred with Emma Thompson in the Renaissance revival of Look Back in Anger. Judi Dench directed both the theatre and television productions, presented first in Belfast then at the London Coliseum and Lyric Theatre.

In 2002, Branagh starred at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield as Richard III. In 2003 he starred in the Royal National Theatre's production of David Mamet's Edmond. Branagh directed The Play What I Wrote in England in 2001[21] and directed a Broadway production in 2003.[22][23] From September to November 2008, Branagh appeared at Wyndham's Theatre as the title character in the Donmar West End revival of Anton Chekhov's Ivanov in a new version by Tom Stoppard. His performance was lauded as the "performance of the year" by several critics.[24] It won him the Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Male Performance but did not get him a Laurence Olivier Award nomination, to the surprise of critics.[25]

In July 2013 he co-directed Macbeth at Manchester International Festival with Rob Ashford. With Branagh in the title role, Alex Kingston played Lady Macbeth and Ray Fearon featured as Macduff. The final performance of the completely sold out run, was broadcast to cinemas on 20 July as part of National Theatre Live.[26] He repeated his performance and directorial duties opposite Ashford and Kingston when the production moved to New York City's Park Avenue Armory in June 2014. The production marked his Broadway stage debut.[27]

In April 2015, Branagh announced his formation of the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company, in which he would appear as actor-manager. With the company, he announced he will present a season of five shows at London's Garrick Theatre from October 2015 – November 2016. The shows were The Winter's Tale, a double bill of Harlequinade and All On Her Own, Red Velvet, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer. Branagh directed all but The Entertainer, in which he starred. Branagh also starred in The Winter's Tale, Harlequinade and The Painkiller. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company also includes Judi Dench (The Winter's Tale), Zoë Wanamaker (Harlequinade/All On Her Own), Derek Jacobi, Lily James and Richard Madden (Romeo and Juliet) and Rob Brydon (The Painkiller). In September 2015 was announced that The Winter's Tale, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer will be broadcast in cinemas, in partnership with Picturehouse Entertainment.[28]

Film

Branagh is known for his film adaptations of William Shakespeare, beginning with Henry V (1989), followed by Much Ado About Nothing (1993), Hamlet (1996), Love's Labour's Lost (2000) and As You Like It (2006). As You Like It premiered in theatres in Europe, but premiered on television in the U.S., where it aired on HBO in August 2007.

Notable non-Shakespeare films in which Branagh has appeared include Dead Again (1991) and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994), both of which he also directed, Wild Wild West (1999), provided the voice of Miguel, a con artist in the DreamWorks Animation film The Road to El Dorado (2000), Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002) and as Major General Henning von Tresckow in Valkyrie (2008). He starred as Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). He also played the Minister, Dormandy (a parody of PMG Tony Benn), in the film The Boat That Rocked (2009).

Although he had a notable uncredited role as SS-Sturmbannführer Knopp in director Thomas Carter's 1993 film Swing Kids, between 1989 and 1996 Branagh mostly directed his own films, including Peter's Friends, with a cast including former student friends Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Stephen Fry, as well as Imelda Staunton and Rita Rudner; but the commercial and critical failure of Love's Labour's Lost ended his directorial career for a time. In 2006, the same year that Branagh's film version of As You Like It was released, he also directed a film version of Mozart's opera The Magic Flute. Branagh has also directed the thriller Sleuth (2007), a remake of the 1972 film. At a film promotion for Valkyrie in 2008, Branagh confirmed that he would be directing Thor, a film based on the Marvel superhero.[29] Thor, Branagh's return to big-budget directing, was released on 6 May 2011.[30] In 2011, Branagh portrayed Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn, which nabbed him a Best Supporting Actor nomination at the 84th Academy Awards. Branagh directed Disney's live-action version of Cinderella (2015).[31] Branagh played a Royal Navy Commander in Christopher Nolan's 2017 action-thriller Dunkirk, based on the British military evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk in 1940 during World War II.[32]

Branagh directed and starred in a film adaptation of Agatha Christie's detective novel Murder on the Orient Express (2017) as Hercule Poirot. Production began in London in November 2016.[33] Like Branagh's Hamlet in 1996,[34] it is among the very few to use 65mm film cameras since 1970.[35]

In 2018, he directed the film All Is True, in which he starred as William Shakespeare.

Branagh frequently reuses actors, including Brian Blessed, Judi Dench, Robin Williams, Derek Jacobi, Nonso Anozie, Richard Briers, Stellan Skarsgård, Helena Bonham Carter, John Gielgud, Josh Gad, Ian Holm, and Emma Thompson.

Television

Branagh has been involved in several made-for-TV films. Among his most acclaimed portrayals is that of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the film Warm Springs (2005), for which he received an Emmy Award nomination. The film received 16 Emmy nominations, winning five (including Outstanding Made for Television Movie); Branagh did not win the award for his portrayal. He received an Emmy for his portrayal of SS leader Reinhard Heydrich in the TV film Conspiracy (2001), a depiction of the Wannsee Conference, where Nazi officials decided on the Final Solution. In 2002 Branagh starred in the two-part television movie Shackleton, a dramatisation of the 1914 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition's battle for survival, for which he was nominated for a BAFTA award and an Emmy.[36] In 1998 he narrated the 24-episode documentary series Cold War.[37] Branagh also narrated the BBC documentaries Walking with Dinosaurs, World War I in Colour, Walking with Beasts and Walking with Monsters, and the BBC miniseries Great Composers.

Branagh is the star of the English-language Wallander television series, adaptations of Henning Mankell's best-selling Wallander crime novels. Branagh plays the eponymous Inspector Kurt Wallander and also serves as the executive producer of the series. The first series of three episodes was broadcast on BBC One in November and December 2008.[38] Branagh won the award for best actor at the 35th Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards (2009). It was his first major television award win in the UK.[39] He received his first BAFTA TV on 26 April 2009 for the British Academy Television Award for Best Drama Series.[40] For his performance in the episode One Step Behind, he was nominated in the Outstanding Actor, Miniseries or Movie category of the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards.[41] The role also gained him a nomination for Best Actor at the 2009 Crime Thriller Awards.[42] The second Wallander series of three episodes aired initially in January 2010 on the BBC, and the third season aired in July 2012.[43] The fourth and final series was shot from October 2014 to January 2015 and premiered on German TV, dubbed into German, in December 2015; it aired in the UK, with its original English soundtrack, in May and June 2016.

Radio

Branagh has played the title role in BBC radio broadcasts of Hamlet and Cyrano de Bergerac, and the role of Edmund in King Lear.[44]

Other work

Branagh has narrated several audiobooks, such as The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis.[45]

KennethBranaghRFFJuly09
Branagh in July 2009 at the Roma Fiction Fest, where he was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award

Branagh participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony portraying Isambard Kingdom Brunel during the Industrial Revolution segment, "pandemonium" giving the speech from The Tempest originally read by the character Caliban.[46][47]

Personal life

From 1989 to 1995, Branagh was married to actress Emma Thompson. They appeared together in Fortunes of War, Look Back in Anger, Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, Dead Again, and Peter's Friends. More recently, they both appeared in The Boat That Rocked, though with no shared scenes. During their marriage, and while directing and co-starring with Helena Bonham Carter in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, he began an affair with Bonham Carter. After Thompson divorced him, he and Bonham Carter were in a well-publicised relationship for several years. In 2003, he married film art director Lindsay Brunnock,[48] whom he met during the shooting of Shackleton.[49]

He is a fan of English football club Tottenham Hotspur, the Northern Irish football club Linfield and Scottish football club Rangers.[50][51]

Honours

Branagh has been nominated for five Academy Awards, the first man to be nominated for five different categories. His first two nominations were for Henry V (one each for directing and acting). He also received similar BAFTA Award nominations for his film work, winning one for his direction. His first BAFTA TV award came in April 2009, for Best Drama Series (Wallander). Branagh's two other Academy Award nominations were for the 1992 film short subject Swan Song and for his work on the screenplay of Hamlet in 1996. His most recent is for his portrayal of Lord Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn.

He is Honorary President of NICVA (the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action). He received an honorary Doctorate in Literature from Queen's University of Belfast in 1990. He is also a patron for the charity Over The Wall.[52]

Branagh was the youngest actor to receive the Golden Quill (also known as the Gielgud Award) in 2000. In 2001 he was appointed an honorary Doctor of Literature at the Shakespeare Institute of The University of Birmingham; the Shakespeare Institute Library keeps the archive of his Renaissance Theatre Company and Renaissance Films.

On 10 July 2009, Branagh was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the RomaFictionFest.[53]

He was appointed a Knight Bachelor in the 2012 Birthday Honours for services to drama and to the community in Northern Ireland.[2][54] He received the accolade at Buckingham Palace on 9 November 2012; afterwards, Branagh told a BBC reporter that he was "humble, elated, and incredibly lucky" to be knighted.[2]

In October 2015, it was announced that Branagh would be the new President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), succeeding the late Lord Attenborough.[55] As the President of RADA and one of the highest profile actors and filmmakers in contemporary British popular culture, Branagh appeared on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.[56]

In October 2017, it was announced that Branagh would be conferred with the Freedom of the City of Belfast.[57] The honour was officially conferred on him by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Nuala McAllister, at a ceremony in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, on 30 January 2018.[3]

Discography

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg Kenneth Branagh portal

References

  1. ^ "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1237): 26. 14 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Birthday Honours: Branagh, Winslet and royal designer Burton on list". BBC News. BBC. 16 June 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Belfast celebrates Branagh's Freedom award – Belfast City Council". www.belfastcity.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  4. ^ "Kenneth Branagh Biography". Tiscali.co.uk. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  5. ^ "Kenneth Branagh: I left Belfast but it's still my home and I'd love to shoot a movie here". Belfasttelegraph.co.uk. Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  6. ^ White, p.2
  7. ^ "The Kenneth Branagh Compendium: Conspiracy". Branaghcompendium.com. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  8. ^ White p.3
  9. ^ "My best teacher – Kenneth Branagh". TES Connect.
  10. ^ "Berkshire's BAFTA Branagh". BBC Berkshire.
  11. ^ "Meadway School Reunion – Staff Memories (Jim Morrison)".
  12. ^ "KENNETH BRANAGH ARCHIVE" (PDF). Queen's University Belfast. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2011.
  13. ^ "Kenneth Branagh – Biography". Talktalk.co.uk. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  14. ^ "Kenneth Branagh". Culturenorthernireland.org. 27 February 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  15. ^ "RFVM History 1957–2012". Reading Film & Video Makers.
  16. ^ Branagh, Kenneth (1990). Beginning. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 31, 49. ISBN 9780393331165.
  17. ^ "The Times, 20 February 2000". Members.tripod.com. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  18. ^ The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1980) An Entertainment, 19 November 1980 programme, GBS Theatre: London
  19. ^ White p.17
  20. ^ Quoted in The London Stage in the 20th Century by Robert Tanitch, Haus (2007)
  21. ^ Archer, Graeme (24 September 2001). "Branagh ready for the next stage". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  22. ^ "The Play What I Wrote, a CurtainUp London and New York review". Curtainup.com. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  23. ^ "Talkin' Broadway Review: The Play What I Wrote". Talkinbroadway.com. 30 March 2003. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  24. ^ Staff writer (18 September 2008). "Rave reviews for Kenneth Branagh's West End return Archived 15 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine", inthenews.co.uk. Retrieved on 18 September 2008.
  25. ^ Hoyle, Ben (4 February 2009). "David Tennant and Kenneth Branagh miss out on Olivier nominations", The Times, Times Newspapers. Retrieved on 22 February 2009.
  26. ^ "Kenneth Branagh and Alex Kingston MACBETH Directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh". Mif.co.uk. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  27. ^ McDermon, Daniel (2013-08-20). "Branagh's 'Macbeth' Coming to New York's Park Avenue Armory in 2014".
  28. ^ Porteous, Jacob (11 September 2015). "Live Cinema Broadcasts And A First Look At Judi Dench In The Winter's Tale". London Theatre Direct. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  29. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: Kenneth Branagh Breaks Silence On 'Thor,' Says Casting Talk Is Premature". Splashpage.mtv.com. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  30. ^ "Thor Movie: Principal Photography Starts!". marvel.com. 11 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
  31. ^ "Disney Negotiating With Kenneth Branagh to Direct Cinderella". vulture.com. 31 January 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2014.
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (11 March 2016). "Harry Styles, Fionn Whitehead to Star in Christopher Nolan WW2 Action-Thriller 'Dunkirk'". Variety.
  33. ^ "Daisy Ridley and Dame Judi Dench on board for Murder on the Orient Expres". BBC News. 30 September 2016.
  34. ^ McGavin, Patrick (17 August 2012). "The Master Rules in Chicago: 70 mm Screening Of Anderson Film Recalls Welles' The Lady From Shanghai". Movieline.com. Movieline. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  35. ^ "'Murder on the Orient Express': Film Review".
  36. ^ "Shackleton" awards.
  37. ^ "CNN – Cold War". 10 December 2008. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008.
  38. ^ "Killing time". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  39. ^ Douglas, Torin (27 March 2009). "Winners – 35th BPG Television and Radio Awards". Broadcasting Press Guild. Retrieved on 27 March 2009.
  40. ^ "Television Awards Nominations 2009 Archived 27 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved on 24 March 2009.
  41. ^ Martin, Lara (16 July 2009). "Emmys Awards 2009: The nominees". Digital Spy. Retrieved on 16 July 2009.
  42. ^ Allen, Kate (7 September 2009). "Coben, Cole, Atkinson vie for crime awards". The Bookseller. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
  43. ^ "BBC One – Wallander, Series 3". BBC. 22 July 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  44. ^ "Shakespeare on Audio". Watershade.net. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  45. ^ "Kenneth Branagh Book Search". AddALL.com. Retrieved 15 January 2007.
  46. ^ Boyle, Danny (28 July 2012). "Danny Boyle Welcomes The World To London". The Descrier. Retrieved 28 July 2012.
  47. ^ "London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Media guide" (PDF). Retrieved 16 August 2013.
  48. ^ White p.271
  49. ^ "Kenneth Branagh Biography". Tiscali UK. Archived from the original on 13 July 2007. Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  50. ^ "Kenneth Branagh on Tottenham Hotspur | Film | The Observer". The Guardian. Theguardian.com. 2000-05-23. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  51. ^ "606 – - A62848155 – Kenneth Branagh and Famous Fans". BBC. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  52. ^ Over The Wall official website
  53. ^ Lyman, Eric J. (12 June 2009). "Rome fest to honor Kenneth Branagh". The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  54. ^ "No. 60173". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 2012. p. 1.
  55. ^ Furness, Hannah (3 October 2015). "Sir Kenneth Branagh made president of RADA to upstage the posh brigade". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  56. ^ "Debrett's 500 List: Stage & Screen". The Daily Telegraph. 21 January 2017.
  57. ^ "Sir Kenneth Branagh to receive Belfast's highest honour – Belfast City Council". www.belfastcity.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-29.

Further reading

  • Kenneth Branagh (1990 [1989]) Beginning, London: Chatto and Windus, ISBN 0-7011-3388-0; New York: W. W. Norton & Co, ISBN 0-393-02862-3.
  • Ian Shuttleworth (1994) Ken & Em, London: Headline. ISBN 0-7472-4718-8.
  • Mark White (2005) Kenneth Branagh, London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-22068-1.
  • Theatre Record and its annual Indexes

External links

Media offices
Preceded by
The Lord Attenborough
President of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
2015–
Incumbent
All Is True

All Is True is a 2018 British film directed by Kenneth Branagh, written by Ben Elton. It stars Branagh as William Shakespeare and takes its title from an alternative name for his play Henry VIII.

Artemis Fowl (film)

Artemis Fowl is an upcoming 2019 American fantasy adventure film based on the first two novels in the series of the same name by Eoin Colfer. Directed by Kenneth Branagh and written by Conor McPherson, the film stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh Gad, and Judi Dench. It will be released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on August 9, 2019 in 3D and IMAX.

As You Like It (2006 film)

As You Like It is a 2006 film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, and based on the Shakespearean play of the same name. It stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Rosalind, David Oyelowo as Orlando De Boys, Romola Garai as Celia, Adrian Lester as Oliver De Boys, Alfred Molina as Touchstone, Kevin Kline as Jaques, Janet McTeer as Audrey, and Brian Blessed as Duke Frederick and his brother Duke Senior.

Branagh moved the play's setting from medieval France to a late 19th-century European colony in Japan after the Meiji Restoration. Branagh filmed it at Shepperton Film Studios and at the never-before-filmed gardens of Wakehurst Place. The film is a production of The Shakespeare Film Company, financed by HBO Films. It is Kenneth Branagh's first Shakespearean film shot in a Super 35 format.

Cinderella (2015 Disney film)

Cinderella is a 2015 romantic fantasy film directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a screenplay written by Chris Weitz, and co-produced by Walt Disney Pictures, Kinberg Genre, Allison Shearmur Productions, and Beagle Pug Films. The film is based on the eponymous folk tale and is generally a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney's 1950 animated film of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast including Lily James as the eponymous character and Cate Blanchett as the stepmother, with Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Nonso Anozie, Derek Jacobi, and Helena Bonham Carter.

Development for a live-action reimagining of the original animated film began in May 2010, with producer Simon Kinberg attached to the project. In late January 2013, Branagh signed on to direct, with Weltz hired to revise a script from Aline Brosh McKenna. In November 2012, casting began with Blanchett being the first to sign on; James was eventually cast in the titular role in April 2013. Principal photography began at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England on September 23, 2013, and ended on December 14.

Cinderella had its world premiere on February 13, 2015, at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival and was released theatrically in the United States on March 13, 2015, and in the United Kingdom on March 27 in standard and IMAX formats by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film grossed over $543 million worldwide, becoming Branagh's highest-grossing film to date as a director. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many praising the performances (particularly James, Blanchett, and Bonham Carter), production values, musical score, Branagh's direction, costume design, and faithfulness to the original animated film. The film received a nomination at the 88th Academy Awards, 21st Critics' Choice Awards and 69th British Academy Film Awards, all for costume design.

Dead Again

Dead Again is a 1991 American romantic thriller film written by Scott Frank and directed by Kenneth Branagh. It stars Branagh and his then-wife Emma Thompson, and co-stars Andy García, Derek Jacobi, Wayne Knight, and Robin Williams.

Dead Again was a moderate box office success and was positively received by the majority of critics. Jacobi was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, and Patrick Doyle, who composed the film's music, was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.

Hamlet (1996 film)

Hamlet is a 1996 film adaptation of William Shakespeare's play Hamlet, adapted and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars as Prince Hamlet. The film also features Derek Jacobi as King Claudius, Julie Christie as Queen Gertrude, Kate Winslet as Ophelia, Michael Maloney as Laertes, Richard Briers as Polonius, and Nicholas Farrell as Horatio. Other cast members include Robin Williams, Gérard Depardieu, Jack Lemmon, Billy Crystal, Rufus Sewell, Charlton Heston, Richard Attenborough, Judi Dench, John Gielgud and Ken Dodd.

The film is the first unabridged theatrical film version of Hamlet, running just over four hours. The setting is updated to the 19th century, but its Elizabethan English remains the same. Blenheim Palace is the setting used for the exterior grounds of Elsinore Castle and interiors were all photographed at Shepperton Studios, blended with the footage shot at Blenheim. Hamlet was also the last major dramatic motion picture to be filmed entirely on 70 mm film until 2012, with the release of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.

Hamlet has been regarded as one of the best Shakespeare film adaptations. However, it was not a box office success, grossing just under $5 million on a budget of $18 million. The film received four Academy Award nominations for the 69th Academy Awards for Best Art Direction (Tim Harvey), Best Costume Design (Alexandra Byrne), Best Original Score (Patrick Doyle), and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) (Kenneth Branagh).

Henry V (1989 film)

Henry V is a 1989 British historical drama film adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name about King Henry V of England. The film stars Branagh in the title role with Paul Scofield, Derek Jacobi, Ian Holm, Emma Thompson, Alec McCowen, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane, Brian Blessed, and Christian Bale in supporting roles.

The film received worldwide critical acclaim and has been widely considered one of the best Shakespeare film adaptations ever made. For her work on the film, Phyllis Dalton won an Academy Award for Best Costume Design and Kenneth Branagh, in his directorial debut, received Oscar nominations for Best Actor and Best Director.

In the Bleak Midwinter (film)

In the Bleak Midwinter (released in the US as A Midwinter's Tale) is a 1995 British romantic comedy written and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Many of the roles in the film were written for specific actors. This was the first film directed by Branagh in which he did not appear.

The film begins with a monologue by out-of-work actor Joe Harper (Michael Maloney) about his slow decline into depression. In an attempt to beat his depression, Joe volunteers to help try to save his sister's local church from land developers for the community by putting on a Christmas production of Hamlet, somewhat against the advice of his agent Margaretta (Joan Collins). As the cast he assembles are still available even at Christmas and are prepared to do it on a 'profit sharing' basis (that is, they may not get paid anything), he cannot expect – and does not get – the cream of the cream. But although they all bring their own problems and foibles along, something bigger starts to emerge in the perhaps aptly named village of Hope. This film encapsulates the hilarious and heartbreaking struggle of actor versus situation versus life, and often versus each other. It was shot in black and white for artistic effect.

Listening (film)

Listening is a 2003 short film written and directed by Kenneth Branagh, starring Frances Barber and Paul McGann. The film won Best Director, Short Film at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and was fourth runner-up for Best Short Film at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (film)

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a 1994 horror drama film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm, John Cleese, and Aidan Quinn. The film was produced on a budget of $45 million and is considered the most faithful film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein, despite several differences and additions in plot from the novel.

Much Ado About Nothing (1993 film)

Much Ado About Nothing is a 1993 British/American romantic comedy film based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. It was adapted for the screen and directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the film. The film also stars Branagh's then-wife Emma Thompson, Robert Sean Leonard, Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Keanu Reeves, and Kate Beckinsale in her film debut.

The film was released on May 7, 1993, reaching 200 U.S. screens at its widest release. It earned $22 million at the U.S. box office and $36 million total worldwide, which, despite failing to reach the mark set by Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet, made it one of the most financially successful Shakespeare films ever released. It was also entered into the 1993 Cannes Film Festival.

Murder on the Orient Express (2017 film)

Murder on the Orient Express is a 2017 mystery thriller film directed by Kenneth Branagh with a screenplay by Michael Green, based on the 1934 novel of the same name by Agatha Christie. The film stars Branagh as Hercule Poirot, with Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Colman, and Daisy Ridley in supporting roles. The film is the fourth screen adaptation of Christie's novel, following the 1974 film, a 2001 TV film version, and a 2010 episode of the television series Agatha Christie's Poirot. The plot follows Poirot, a world-renowned detective, as he seeks to solve a murder on the famous trans-European train in the 1930s.

Principal photography began in November 2016 in the United Kingdom; it is one of the few productions in recent decades to have used 65 mm film cameras. Murder on the Orient Express had its world premiere on November 2, 2017 at Royal Albert Hall in London, and was released in theatres in the United Kingdom on November 3, 2017, and in the United States on November 10, 2017, by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed over $351 million worldwide and received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for the cast's performances and the production value, but some criticism for not adding anything new to previous adaptations.

A sequel, titled Death on the Nile, is scheduled for a release on October 2, 2020.

Patrick Doyle

Patrick Doyle (born 6 April 1953) is a Scottish film composer. A longtime collaborator of actor-director Kenneth Branagh, Doyle is known for his work composing for films such as Henry V (1989), Sense and Sensibility (1995), Hamlet (1996), and Gosford Park (2001), as well as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), Eragon (2006), Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Thor (both 2011). Doyle has been nominated for two Academy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards, and is the recipient of the ASCAP Henry Mancini Award for "outstanding achievements and contributions to the world of film and television music".

Peter's Friends

Peter's Friends is a 1992 British comedy film written by Rita Rudner and Martin Bergman, and directed and produced by Kenneth Branagh.

The film follows six friends, members of an acting troupe who graduated from Cambridge University in 1982 and went their separate ways. Ten years later, Peter (Stephen Fry) inherits a large estate from his father, and invites the rest of the gang to spend New Year's holiday with him. Many changes have taken place in all of their lives, but Peter has a secret that will shock them all.

Sleuth (2007 film)

Sleuth is a 2007 British-American thriller film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Jude Law and Michael Caine. The screenplay by Harold Pinter is an adaptation of Anthony Shaffer's Tony Award-winning play Sleuth. Caine had previously starred in a 1972 version, where he played Law's role against Laurence Olivier.

Swan Song (1992 film)

Swan Song is a 1992 short film directed by Kenneth Branagh and adapted for the screen by Hugh Cruttwell from the one act play of the same name by Anton Chekhov. It stars John Gielgud as the aging actor Svetlovidov and Richard Briers as the prop-master Nikita.

The Magic Flute (2006 film)

The Magic Flute is Kenneth Branagh's English-language film version of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's singspiel Die Zauberflöte. The film is a co-production between France & the UK, produced by Idéale Audience and in association with UK's Peter Moores Foundation.

Thor (film)

Thor is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is the fourth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Kenneth Branagh, written by the writing team of Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz along with Don Payne, and stars Chris Hemsworth as the title character, alongside Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Colm Feore, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins. The film sees Thor banished to Earth from Asgard, stripped of his powers and his hammer Mjölnir, after reigniting a dormant war. As his brother Loki plots to take the Asgardian throne, Thor must prove himself worthy.

Sam Raimi first developed the concept of a film adaptation of Thor in 1991, but soon abandoned the project, leaving it in "development hell" for several years. During this time, the rights were picked up by various film studios until Marvel signed Mark Protosevich to develop the project in 2006, and planned to finance it and release it through Paramount. Matthew Vaughn was originally assigned to direct the film for a tentative 2010 release. However, after Vaughn was released from his holding deal in 2008, Branagh was approached and the film's release was rescheduled to 2011. The main characters were cast in 2009, and principal photography took place in California and New Mexico from January to May 2010. The film was converted to 3D in post-production.

Thor premiered on April 17, 2011, in Sydney, Australia and was released on May 6, 2011, in the United States. The film was a financial success and many in the cast received praise, including Chris Hemsworth, although the Earth-based elements of the film received some criticism. A sequel, Thor: The Dark World, was released on November 8, 2013, while a third film, Thor: Ragnarok, was released on November 3, 2017.

Films directed by Kenneth Branagh
Feature films
Short films

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