Faculty of Arts

Much Ado About Nothing

Joss Whedon has an impressive fan base within the Faculty of Arts,but his work is still subject to academic critique. His 2013 production of MuchAdo About Nothing was filmed over 12 days in his home in Los Angeles, using a cast rounded up from his 'usual suspects.'

Dr Peter Kirwan saw an advance preview of the film when it was shown to the delegates of the Shakespeare Association of America Annual Conference, and provides a critique from a Shakespearean perspective. By contrast, Leora Hades,Film and Television Studies doctoral candidate, considers the film from the perspective of Joss Whedon as auteur. How did the film compare under these two different lenses?

Much Ado About Nothing (photograph via Creative Commons)
Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing comes under critical analysis from different perspectives within the Faculty of Arts. 

The film: two perspectives

...this Much Ado expertly meshes Shakespeare with Whedon’s trademarks: witty repartee, confident women and bumbling men, and a mixture of sly wit and emotional heft that clarifies the interactions of the play...this is, at its core, actors having funplaying people having fun, and in doing so Whedon and his team create a lush film, beautifully shot and thrillingly voyeuristic that captures a brief break in the lives of beautiful people.

Dr Peter Kirwan


The Bardathon Blog: Much Ado

 Selling a film as the product of a visionary auteur’s genius is an old and highly effective Hollywood trick, which has also found its way to television, video games and other media...

While Much Ado was written, directed and produced by Whedon, marketing it as a Joss Whedon film was nonetheless a challenge.

Leora Hadas


The Press Blog: Joss Whedon as Auteur

Auteur - Words of the World

How did the French word for 'author' become synonymous with film making and directing?

Study and research Shakespeare

School of English

Centre for Regional Literature and Culture

Study and research Film and Television

Department of Culture, Film and Media

Institute for Screen Industries Research


Faculty of Arts

University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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