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In the Bleak Midwinter (A Midwinter's Tale)

In the Bleak Midwinter (A Midwinter's Tale) (1996)

tomatometer

63

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 767

My Rating

Movie Info

When his professional career hits a lull, an actor attempts to revitalize his career by staging a production of Hamlet, directed by and starring himself. Director and star Kenneth Branagh would in fact release his own film version of Shakespeare's classic play a year later, but this comedy provides his fictional counterpart with far less in terms of production value. Lacking money and time, he recruits a rather motley group of drunks, incompetents, and oddballs, including a middle-aged female

R,

Comedy

Kenneth Branagh

Oct 22, 1996

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All Critics (26) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (5)

This small-scale, putatively comic meditation on the anxieties and joys of the theatrical life says nothing fresh about the artistic process and manages to be coy and grating in doing so.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A palpable hit.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A Midwinter's Tale" packs together so many characters and ideas that they crowd one another out, leaving enough room for plenty of chuckles but none for belly laughs.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Looked at coldly, as a piece of entertainment, it clearly doesn't satisfy. But as a personal statement from writer-director Kenneth Branagh, the film still isn't good . . . but it's interesting.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are so many laughs here, so much theatrical temperament on display, that you can't help but embrace the picture, even with its obvious flaws.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[An] inoffensive trifle.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Excellent, hilarious bookend to Branagh's Hamlet. If you or someone you love is in theatre, you must watch.

February 9, 2005
Needcoffee.com

One of Branagh's most charming works too little seen.

November 24, 2003
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A nice viewing alternative to the usual Christmas pap, and goes well with a fireplace and a snowy December day.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Delivers a bittersweet portrait of the trials and surprising rewards that come with being part of a theatre company.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A seriously funny ensemble farce.

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Although this is clearly a warmup for Branagh's full-length dramatic "Hamlet," at 100 minutes it's pleasant enough for whiling away a bleak midwinter night.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Unfortunately, it's hard to admire and mock without seeming simultaneously a nerd and an ingrate.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: San Francisco Examiner
San Francisco Examiner

A wonderful celebration of the pure joy of acting. It is full of exuberant energy and literally bursts at the seams with happiness.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

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Foreign Titles

  • A Midwinter's Tale (In the Bleak Midwinter) (DE)
  • A Midwinter's Tale (In the Bleak Midwinter) (UK)
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