Cinema: King Ken Comes to Conquer

A brash British star turns Henry V into an antiwar war movie

The great doors swing open to reveal the caped figure of King Henry V, sexily backlighted. His bishops and courtiers gaze at him like apostles at the unseen Jesus in some old biblical epic. And finally the monarch of Britain -- and of this robust new movie -- shows his face and speaks. It is an entrance angled to register awe for Kenneth Branagh. But how much awe can a 28-year-old actor, little known outside Britain and directing his first film, expect to inspire? Branagh recalls that when Judi Dench, who plays Mistress Quickly, first saw this scene, "she laughed in...

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