Director Kenneth Branagh continues to work his way through the Shakespeare cannon playing opposite his wife Emma Thompson again in this comedy classic. The interplay between Branagh, who plays Benedick, and Thompson, who is a marvelous Beatrice, alone makes this movie worth watching. Branagh sets this comedy in a villa in the luscious Tuscany countryside in the summer. The scene evokes the magic and charm of the play which tells the story of love which is almost thwarted and villainy which almost succeeds. Claudio, played by Robert Sean Leonard, gives a convincing performance of the impulsive young man who comes close to losing the love of Hero, played by Kate Berkinsale. The unlikely cast also included Denzel Washington, fresh from his Malcolm X triumph, Keannu Reeves and Michael Keaton, who over-acts his way through the minor part of the police constable. The play is a romp and there is much frolicking and dancing and rushing about. At times Branagh errs on the raunchy side and translates the innuendo of the play into graphic detail on the screen. For this reason it’s probably not for the whole family. But it is an accessible and beautiful-looking production for Shakespeare lovers and those discovering his genius for the first time.