Rent All Is True (2018)

3.0 of 5 from 282 ratings
1h 37min
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Synopsis:
"All Is True" explores the human story behind a dark and little known period in the life of William Shakespeare (Kenneth Branagh). The year is 1613, Shakespeare is the greatest writer of the age. When his beloved Globe Theatre is burned to the ground, he decides to return to his home town of Stratford-upon-Avon. There he faces his neglected family. Still haunted by the death of his only son, Hamnet, he struggles to mend broken relationships with his wife, Anne (Judi Dench) and daughters. In so doing, he is ruthlessly forced to examine his own failings as an absent husband and father. In the search for peace, he must also finally confront the dark heart of his family's secrets and lies.
Actors:
, , , Doug Colling, , , , Freya Durkan, Flora Easton, , , , , , , , Sabi Perez, , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Kenneth Branagh, Ted Gagliano, Judy Hofflund, Becca Kovacik, Tamar Thomas
Writers:
Ben Elton
Studio:
Sony
Genres:
British Films, Drama
Countries:
UK
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/06/2019
Run Time:
97 minutes
Languages:
English, English Audio Description
Subtitles:
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
Unknown
Run Time:
103 minutes

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Reviews (12) of All Is True

A Vanity Project too far - All Is True review by JR

Spoiler Alert
18/08/2019

We see Shakespeare in the late autumn of his life - cue shots of frosty autumn leaves and dark, candlelit Tudor interiors. There is no variety in the cinematography as all the outdoor scenes are shot from ground level upwards. The scenes of Shakespeare in his garden are laughably amateur with what must be potted plants plonked on the ground and, again, shot from below. Characters, including Shakespeare himself, recite the poetry, which only serves to underline the extremely pedestrian nature of the language and plotting of Ben Elton's screenplay. Even great thespians such as (director and producer) Branagh, Judi Dench, and Ian McKellen fail to breathe life into it.

1 out of 3 members found this review helpful.

Bland, and tedious throughout. - All Is True review by RM

Spoiler Alert
16/06/2019

""All Is True" explores the human story behind a dark and little known period in the life of William Shakespeare."

The thing about "little known" is you can make up whatever you want, to say this is "All is true" is basically a lie, they could have done far better, Shakespeare Vs vampires? or Abducted by aliens? would have been crass but at least entertaining. But they decided to make a film about nothing very much at all. I was going to say this film was boring but this goes beyond that it's just bland a kind of Elizabethan soap where very little happens apart from day to day life dragging on.

This really is another Branagh self indulgence production, dragging the usual luvvies out of the toy chest.

I'm dismayed that this was penned by Ben Elton, he really is better than this and should have stopped at Upstart Crow, at least being a comedy there was his wit to entertain us, this isn't entertaining, it's the diary of a retired old sod who does what a lot of retirees do, he took up gardening, and boy it was like watching paint dry.

This isn't history, but made up non history. I guess a kind of fake news that no one will be interested in.

1 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

Morose and depressing - All Is True review by Alphaville

Spoiler Alert
15/08/2019

This worthy film must be the dullest ever made about Shakespeare. It’s set in 1613, when he gave up writing to return home to his family in Stratford. To do what? Gardening. He and his wife mope about in candlelit interiors to plinky-plonk piano music. They mourn their dead son and fret about their grown-up daughters, one of whom is stroppy and annoying.

The script by Ben Elton is equally moribund and make you wish for something with the dynamism of his Upstart Crow sitcom about Shakespeare. Despite the film’s title, this feels no truer than the sitcom. Sometimes you can here the writer pontificating. There’s even a subplot, would you believe, of female empowerment.

Kenneth Branagh stars and directs and is disappointingly reverential and bland in both roles. For instance, he chooses to film with no camera movement except pan and tilt. Why? The film comes alive only in one scene, when Ian McKellen as the Earl of Southampton visits Shakespeare and they share a scene of longing and unrequited love based around one of the sonnets. Otherwise, the DVD Xtras are more interesting, especially a fascinating on-stage Q&A where Branagh (describing the Southampton scene as a chess match) shows more animation than in the whole film.

0 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Great film - All Is True review by SA

Spoiler Alert
12/03/2020

This was a beautifully made film, atmospheric and elegiac.  The acting was superb, and this ending part of Shakespeare's life was most moving.  Ben Elton writes a great script and really knows how to turn life with few facts into a fictional delight of great interest. It was slow and gentle, but this in no way detracted from its quiet power. Thank you Kenneth Branagh.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

All Is True review by Mark McPherson - Cinema Paradiso

Kenneth Branagh has such a fervent love of William Shakespeare that of course he would make a film like All is True. How could he resist directing a film about the twilight years of the tortured writer where he gets to play said writer himself? While this act seems familiar, it’s hard to fully fault Branagh for putting all he has into such a film, even if it doesn’t touch upon much most profound.

The story takes place in 1613, soon after the Globe Theater burned down in a disaster. Shakespeare, saddened, returns home to Stratford to find a less than accepting return from his family. Having been gone for so long, they’ve become used to him not being there and shutting out his past. One can understand why given that there are troubling memories within his estate, being haunted by visions of loved ones departed. His wife (Anne Hathaway) tries to offer comfort but how much can she possibly give with a tortured artist having been absent for so long? He’s been away for so long and she doesn’t expect him to stay long either.

Struggling to find some sense of inspiration and purpose, Shakespeare takes to gardening. An odd choice in a hobby to the outside but not so strange personally considering his connection to the loss of life within his home. Through his gardening, a peace set over him. A comfort takes hold. A slight glimmer of inspiration returns, speaking more freely about how to write, what to write, and what makes us write in the first place. He speaks a certain truth when asked about writing, that one must have trust in themself and honesty in their love for putting the pen to paper. As long as one is true to themselves, all will be true within the writing that is composed.

Branagh’s picture meanders between heartfelt melodrama and inspiring observation. There are quiet moments that tap into the brilliance of Shakespeare’s appeal, especially during a stirring conversation with Ian McKellen in the role of the Earl. But then there are moments that feel too expected as when Shakespeare has a conversation with the ghost of his family. For a film that wants us to see something more and peer into the mind of a gifted writer, scenes like these feel too on the nose that seems more serviceable in a blunter and less thoughtful picture that struggles to find something unique about the historic figure.

All is True manages to muster an ounce of quiet understanding from a man who dug the writer almost a little too much. Armed with some strong performances and a lightly beautiful tone, there’s just enough here to be a pleasing period piece, if not a self-serving one for the obsession of Branagh once more.

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