As You Like It

September 1st, 2006


As You Like It

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Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom)...

Release Year: 2006

Rating: 6.3/10 (1,536 voted)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Stars: Takuya Shimada, Brian Blessed, Richard Clifford

Rosalind, the daughter of Duke Senior (the banished duke), is raised at the court of Duke Frederick (who is younger brother to Duke Senior and took over his dukedom), with her cousin Celia (daughter to Duke Frederick). She falls in love with a young man named Orlando, but before she can even think twice about it, she is banished by Duke Frederick, who threatens death if she comes near the court again. Celia, being Rosalind's best friend, goes with Rosalind (who is disguised as a boy, Ganymede) and Touchstone, the court's fool, to the forest of Arden. Upon their arrival in the forest, they happen upon Orlando and his manservant, who are fleeing the wrath of Orlando's eldest brother. What follows is an elaborate scheme devised by the cross-dressing Rosalind to find out the verity of Orlando's supposed passion for her, and to further capture his heart, through the witty and mischievous façade of Ganymede.

Writers: Kenneth Branagh, William Shakespeare

Takuya Shimada - Geisha
Brian Blessed - Duke Senior / Duke Frederick
Richard Clifford - Le Beau
Bryce Dallas Howard - Rosalind
Patrick Doyle - Amiens
Romola Garai - Celia
Adrian Lester - Oliver De Boys
Alfred Molina - Touchstone
Kevin Kline - Jaques
Janet McTeer - Audrey
Gerard Horan - Denis
David Oyelowo - Orlando De Boys
Richard Briers - Adam
Nobuyuki Takano - Charles
Paul Chan - William

Taglines: Romance...or something like it.


Official Website: HBO [United States] |

Release Date: 1 September 2006

Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK

Opening Weekend: €86,883 (Italy) (1 September 2006) (111 Screens)

Gross: $442,544 (Non-USA) (22 February 2009)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The film has received a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actors Guild nomination in the "Made-for-TV" category even though it was not actually made for television. It was released to theaters abroad before premiering on HBO in the United States. (The end credits feature a "Dolby Stereo in Selected Theaters" credit.)

Jaques: All the world's a stage,/ And all the men and women merely players: /They have their exits and their entrances; /And one man in his time plays many parts,/ His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,/ Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms./ And then the whining school-boy...

User Review

Beautiful, but with shortcomings

Rating: 8/10

As You Like It is my favorite Shakespearean comedy, and my high expectations of the new Branagh version were not put to shame. Set in a lush, beautiful forest in an imaginary old Japan, populated by people of all races, this version is an innovative and modern one rather than a conventional and classical one - and it works.

The female main characters, Rosalind, Celia, Phebe and Audrey, are all immensely good, effortlessly throwing around both unbridled enthusiasm and unwavering character acting. In fact, Celia is near to outshining Rosalind; only her obviously bleached hair detracts from her charm.

The male characters are, sadly, far less distinctive, with the exception of Alfred Molina's Touchstone, who's delightfully silly - almost too much so. Kevin Kline's Jacques is not bad either, but he doesn't really steal the limelight to any great extent, the way he perhaps should. In a production as colorful as this one, Jacques greyness gets a bit lost.

I did feel that a lot of the original text was missing, and this, as is so often the case with Shakespeare movies, is this production's worst shortcoming. Almost none of the delightful Rosalind rhymes which almost define the play are included, which is a grave, grave error in disposition. If this play was often made into movies, that judgment might be justified, but since the play is adapted so rarely, it cannot be.

The overall filming and cinematography is excellent, however, with plentiful gentle camera movement and many close-ups, focusing admirably on the strong emotions exchanged between the characters, and the language is fluid as well as florid, spoken in a very modern, sometimes even casual, tone, as we have come to expect from Branagh's very accessible Shakespeare films.

We are many who wonder why this film has not received a wide cinematic release. It has been shown only on a few film festivals, and this January it will be out on DVD, at least in Italy. Is it going straight to DVD without a run in international theaters? Why?? Is it really seen to be so obscure and uncommercial that no distribution company will commit to it? If so, distributors should be ashamed.

My rating: 8 out of 10.


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