Family and secrets. With no one really knowing the reality of William Shakespeare’s real life other than a few scant details, writer Ben Elton gives director and lead actor Kenneth Branagh the story and words to do something grand with.
The bard (Branagh) has returned to his rural home in Stratford-upon-Avon after giving up on writing after the 1613 fire that burned down the Globe Theatre in London. The family is still rife with the grief that followed his young son’s death. This grief starts a chain of events that will reveal many family secrets and scandals.
Elton’s script gives the a-list cast a lot to chew on and there are some real highlights. The conversation between Will and the Earl of South Hampton (Ian McKellen) is a stand out, as they profess a love that couldn’t be. Elsewhere scandals continue to blight the Shakespeare house.
For those that think any movie attached to the name Shakespeare will be a dry affair, All is True is anything but that. There are more than a few saucy moments and tides of real emotion. The acting can not be faulted and the pace is impeccable. Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.