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Don't worry, there's an intermission. That understood, you'll hardly need it—Kenneth Branaugh's "Hamlet" is drop-dead wonderful. It's also a hard beast to review; what more can you say about the play other than it is genius from prologue to denouement? Every speech, almost every utterence is so brilliant that half of today's cliches stem from them. Branaugh solves his end of the "is Hamlet crazy?" discussion by playing him as a wildly intelligent rogue, his madness only a byproduct of the fools that surround him. Having not cut one ounce of text from the original (and thus providing audiences with scenes not performed regularly in public in hundreds of years), Branaugh takes scenes once deemed pointless and imbued them with intensity and humor. And with flawless performances from Julie Christie, Billy Crystal, Derek Jacobi, Charlton Heston, Brian Blessed and Kate Winslet—the only flaw in this production is that it makes every other movie you've seen this winter look like a dimwitted waste of time. Go, go, go.
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