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
Word master: Self holds up a copy of his novel ‘Umbrella’
books
Arts and Entertainment
Hare’s a riddle: Kit Williams with the treasure linked to Masquerade
books
Arts and Entertainment
The man with the golden run: Daniel Craig as James Bond in 'Skyfall'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Waving Seal' by Luke Wilkinson was Highly Commended in the Portraits category

photography
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Art
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard, nicknamed by the press as 'Dirty Diana'

Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
The X Factor 2014 judges: Simon Cowell, Cheryl Cole, Mel B and Louis Walsh

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace was caught by a camera van driving 32mph over the speed limit

TV
Arts and Entertainment
books
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Iain reacts to his GBBO disaster

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Outlaw Pete is based on an eight-minute ballad from Springsteen’s 2009 Working on a Dream album

books
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012

film
Arts and Entertainment
Simon Cowell is less than impressed with the Strictly/X Factor scheduling clash

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Gothic revival: artist Dave McKean’s poster for Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
Exhibition
Arts and Entertainment
Diana Beard has left the Great British Bake Off 2014

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live

TV
Arts and Entertainment
TVDessert week was full of the usual dramas as 'bingate' ensued
Arts and Entertainment
Clara and the twelfth Doctor embark on their first adventure together
TVThe regulator received six complaints on Saturday night
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Arts and Entertainment
David Baddiel concedes his show takes its inspiration from the hit US series 'Modern Family'
comedyNew comedy festival out to show that there’s more to Jewish humour than rabbi jokes
Arts and Entertainment
Puff Daddy: One Direction may actually be able to use the outrage to boost their credibility

music
Arts and Entertainment
Suha Arraf’s film ‘Villa Touma’ (left) is set in Ramallah and all the actresses are Palestinian

film
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.

    Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

    The big names to look for this fashion week

    This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
    Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

    Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

    Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Al Pacino wows Venice

    Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
    Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

    Neil Lawson Baker interview

    ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

    Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
    The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

    The model for a gadget launch

    Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
    Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

    Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
    Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

    Get well soon, Joan Rivers

    She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
    Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

    A fresh take on an old foe

    Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

    As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

    Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

    ... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
    Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

    Europe's biggest steampunk convention

    Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

    Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

    Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

    The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor