When you think of Kenneth Branagh, you may initially think of William Shakespeare adaptations. Of course, Branagh is incredibly effective at that sort of thing, but it’s far from his only interest. Last year, he really hammered it home with Belfast, one of the year’s most delightful films. He’s not only written a love movie, but directed the hell out of it. Truly, it’s like being hugged for about 90 minutes. Ever since I saw the flick at the Toronto International Film Festival, I’d been eager to talk to Branagh. Hearing him be so charming on shows like Marc Maron‘s only made me even keener to make it happen. Recently, we pulled it off, and today we can present that discussion to you all.
Below, you can see my conversation with Branagh. Previously, I’d spoken with Caitriona Balfe (here) about Belfast, and you’ll see my chat with Jamie Dornan tomorrow, but today it’s his turn. I focused a lot on the emotions of it all, as well as just picking his brain, since in addition to being incredibly nice, he’s also quite the wit. So, it was a pleasure all around, which I’m thrilled you all can enjoy today. As Branagh and the film compete for Oscar attention, be sure to check it out if you somehow have not yet. Hell, watch it again if you have. It’s simply a glorious achievement.
Out of TIFF, I raved about the movie. This here is just some of my praise for it:
Kenneth Branagh puts his all into this deeply personal project. His writing and direction drip with affection and love for the story he’s telling. Never getting too deep into the religious conflict, he truly sees it through the eyes of what’s clearly his younger self. Branagh even integrates Van Morrison music (including a new song) incredibly well, fueling all of the personal nostalgia into something universal. The pacing is perfect, breezing along for about 90 minutes and never overstaying its welcome. He’s never accomplished something as up and down terrific as this. Plus, the black and white cinematography from Haris Zambarloukos is gorgeous.
Here now is my interview with Belfast filmmaker Kenneth Branagh. Enjoy:
Belfast is available to watch right now!