As You Like It

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 21, 2007

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15

Critic Reviews

  1. As You Like It is effortlessly entertaining from start to finish.
  2. 88
    Happily, this is a carefully adapted, clearly enunciated As You Like It that retains the beauty of the dialogue while making the meanings clear.
  3. Once you get used to the surroundings, it's still the same "As You Like It"--utterly charming and completely winning.
  4. 80
    It's the strong cast, especially Bryce Dallas Howard as witty, strong-willed Rosalind, that gives this East-West fusion its flavor.
  5. 80
    Director Kenneth Branagh's culture-clash gimmick doesn't get in the way of the play's many intoxicating pleasures. This isn't samurai Shakespeare.
  6. Unlike so many adaptations of Shakespeare's plays, this one not only pleases just as it stands but also could inspire a genuine curiosity in many viewers about seeing more of his work.
  7. There are several good "Twelfth Nights" on film and even more "Midsummer Night's Dreams," but we've never before had a good "As You Like It." This one is welcome.
  8. The production is set among English traders in 19th-century Japan, the timeline of the action is altered, and some beloved examples of word play are no longer in the script. These are small matters, though, compared to the fresh gorgeousness on display and the elements of the story that come into focus here in new and moving ways.
  9. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    It's a handsomely mounted production that will surely be welcomed by English majors the world over, especially those who would rather watch their homework than read it.
  10. Most of the performances are very good and some are thrilling, particularly Kline's Jacques, whom he imbues with great world-weary nobility.
  11. Branagh plays up the dark side of this town-in-the-country pastoral--partly by turning exposition into sometimes violent action, partly by trimming the banter--to deepen the romance. (He likes a pratfall, though.) Mostly it works.
  12. 70
    It's a likable one, marred only by some awkward abridgement.
  13. 70
    Branagh directs his actors through the intricacies of Shakespeare’s language with a sure hand, though I sometimes wished during the forest scenes the camera didn’t swoop and swivel quite so much.
  14. Reviewed by: Jesse Hicks
    The writer-director makes some inspired, insightful cinematic choices. However, the play’s untidiness--it’s one of Shakespeare’s most mischievous--virtually guarantees a final product distinguished by individual performances rather than dramatic consistency.
  15. Mr. Branagh has teased out every manly rivalry and preserved every hey-nonny-nonny of the kooks in the Forest of Arden, but slashed passages of the repartee that defines Rosalind.
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. EllenC.
    Aug 29, 2007
    Brannagh's intriguing choice to set the story in Japan is visually interesting, if jarring at times.(Why not, then, use Asian actors and Brannagh's intriguing choice to set the story in Japan is visually interesting, if jarring at times.(Why not, then, use Asian actors and completely commit to the setting?) That said, his multicultural cast is generally winning, and Romola Garai steals almost every scene she inhabits as Celia. Bryce Dallas Howard is stunning--and though her "disguise" is not much of one (How could her beloved NOT recognize her?), she has a strong presence and handles the comedic and romantic moments with aplomb. I especially enjoyed how Brannagh handled the unusual Epilogue--a rare one for female characters--on the film's backlot amidst trailers and crew. Kline's thoughtful, understated Jaques is fine. The inevitable "wedded-couples-romping-to-Doyle's-music-finale" similar to that seen in Branagh's "Much Ado Without Nothing" is less sucessful here--a bit lengthy and strained. All in all, though, a charming, refreshing look at a classic. Full Review »