Friday, February 27, 2009

Movie of the week: The Taming of the Shrew (BBC version)

As a terrifying woman myself (I believe the term is usually "intimidating"--at least that is what my Mother told me as I headed out to Provo, UT for my first year of college--Love you, Mom!), I have always had a soft place in my heart for Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew. Be it the Elizabeth Taylor version or the Cole Porter musical version, I love that Katherine is a spitfire, albeit one who is "tamed" by the right man--a man just as screwed up as she is in all the right ways for her. This is probably the reason I also love Much Ado About Nothing, and why I am always pining for a Benedick to my Beatrice.

In 2005, the BBC did a miniseries that updated four Shakespearean plays to today while keeping a little of the dialogue ("I come to wiv-ed wealthily in Padua"). Thanks to Netflix, this is now available to watch online or on DVD, though you still cannot purchase it in the US. I have now seen 3 out of four of the episodes, and my by far favorite is their version of The Taming of the Shrew. Starring Rufus Sewell (who is known more for his villains, though see him in Cold Comfort Farm and you know better) and Shirley Henderson (Yep, Moaning Myrtle); it is a delight. Their physical comedy alone is a pleasure.

If you have a chance to see it, do. It is a bizarre treat. I've embedded a little clip of when the two meet for the first time, enjoy (go to the point around 4:15 if you want the exact moment--Oh, and yes, that is Twiggy as Kate's mom).

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