Film: David Benedict quotes what people say (and the man himself says) about the revered and reviled Kenneth Branagh, whose Frankenstein is the fest's centrepiece

PRO KEN 'The reaction to Branagh and his talented peer group is symptomatic of the mean- spiritedness that is the foundation of this country.' Jaci Stephen, Today, 21 Nov 1992.

'Although a gypsy at heart, he manages to project an enviable mixture of affability and ruthlessness.' Michael Coveney, FT, 5 Aug 1989.

'A knighthood surely cannot be far off.' Paul Donovan, Sunday Times, 19 Apr 1992.

'The industry needs a dozen more like him. He provides many who work in it with a fair living.' David Gritten, Daily Telegraph, 4 Nov 1992.

'The muffin face of his youth now has a commanding gravitas. The voice can soar the verse to the heavens.' Jack Tinker, Daily Mail, 21 Dec 1992.

'This actor's greatest strength has always been his manifest humanity, his dogged decency.' Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph, 21 Dec 1992.

'Some of those critics need their backsides smacked. There's blood, sweat and tears, and some condescending bastard is ready to condemn it all. Ken and Emma are bitter about the attacks.' Lord Attenborough on 'Much Ado About Nothing', Times, 27 Aug 1993.

ANTI KEN 'Disgraceful] The worst performance I've ever seen.' Audience member interrupting Branagh's first night of 'Look Back in Anger', 9 Aug 1989.

'He resembles a schoolboy who has eaten too many buns during the tuck-box break.' Nigel Andrews on 'Henry V', FT, 7 Oct 1989.

'Kenneth Branagh, the man who puts the cock-sure back into peacock . . . our laddie of the flaws - the most over-rated, over-celebrated British actor to have reached leading man status in two decades.' Nicholas de Jongh, Guardian, 9 Oct 1989.

'The comparison to Olivier is wildly off the mark.' Richard Eyre, Guardian, 9 Nov 1992.

'If ever Ken falls on hard times he would make a terrific caption writer for Hello] magazine.' Sunday Telegraph, 15 Nov 1992.

'The thinness of Branagh's lips is a real liability for a screen actor in close-up.' Adam Mars-Jones, Independent 27 Aug 1993 'Final result: Shakespeare 6: Renaissance Theatre Company 3 (Branagh, own goals 3). Gillian Reynolds on 'Romeo and Juliet', Daily Telegraph, 27 Apr 1993.

KEN ON KEN 'It's the story of a particular talent, and how that talent was combined with a measure of ambition and some quite extraordinary professional good fortune.' Intro to 'Beginnings', his autobiography, 1989.

'It seemed that I was not able to function well in large institutions.' KB on leaving the RSC, 'Beginnings'.

'I find myself unreasonably suspicious of praise. I become instantly alarmed when others approve.' Sunday Times, 10 Sept 1989.

'I haven't gone around saying I'm the new Olivier, nor would I' Today, 23 Oct 1989.

'I have no interest in making money, and I am not sufficiently aggressive or hardnosed to be some titanic showbiz mogul.' KB interviewed by Michael Coveney, FT, 5 Aug 1989.

'I don't want to go round as Sir Kevin O'Lovey, Young Lord of the Theatre.'

Guardian 9 Nov 1992.

'It's very hard for an actor to open his gob without whatever he says sounding risible. If you even whisper a murmur of complaint you're labelled a po-faced git who can't see the funny side of things.' Sunday Times, 15 Aug 1993.

(Photograph omitted)

Arts and Entertainment

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment
V&A museum in London

Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'

Arts and Entertainment
Over their 20 years, the band has built a community of dedicated followers the world over
music
Arts and Entertainment
The Wu-Tang Clan will sell only one copy of their album Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
musicWu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own only copies of their latest albums
Arts and Entertainment
Bradley Cooper, Alessandro Nivola and Patricia Clarkson on stage

film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Reese Witherspoon starring in 'Wild'

It's hard not to warm to Reese Witherspoon's heroismfilm
Arts and Entertainment
Word up: Robbie Coltrane as dictionary guru Doctor Johnson in the classic sitcom Blackadder the Third
books

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
The Oscar nominations are due to be announced today

Oscars 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Hacked off: Maisie Williams in ‘Cyberbully’

Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challenge

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything and Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game are both nominated at the Bafta Film Awards
Arts and Entertainment

Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated

Arts and Entertainment
Damian Lewis shooting a scene as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall
TV

Arts and Entertainment
A history of violence: ‘Angry, White and Proud’ looked at the rise of far-right groups

tv

An expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle

Arts and Entertainment

art

Lee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Keaton in the 1998 Beetlejuice original

film

Arts and Entertainment

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Michael Kitchen plays Christopher Foyle in ITV's 'Foyle's War'

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Downton Abbey star Joanne Froggatt will be starring in Dominic Savage's new BBC drama The Secrets

Arts and Entertainment
Vividly drawn: Timothy Spall in Mike Leigh’s ‘Mr Turner’
film
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
News
art

‘Remember the attackers are a cold-blooded, crazy minority’, says Blek le Rat

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project