A Midwinter's Tale (1996)

Though the tag line reads "Spinal Tap for the Shakespeare set," 
only about *half* of Kenneth Branagh's backstage comedy has the 
playful irreverence of that other movie.  The rest of A MIDWINTER'S 
TALE attempts to humanize the ensemble of down-and-out actors who 
are staging an "experimental" reading of Hamlet on Christmas Eve.   
Ugh.  However forced the funnies feel, they are *nothing* compared 
to the burden of a midsection so heavy by comparison that it all 
but grinds the film to a halt.  Ken's next movie is the big-budget 
HAMLET, which gives this TALE a rather-interesting subtext.  If 
that sort of thing keeps you awake.  (Rated "R"/98 min.)

Grade: C

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: March 20, 1996

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