If anyone deserves the 2011 comeback of the year award it may just be Kenneth Branagh.
The four-time Oscar nominee burst upon the scene in 1989 with his acclaimed adaptation of "Henry V." It was a remarkable achievement which he both directed and starred in at the ripe old age of 28. Branagh became a creative force and incredibly prolific during the early to mid-90's with more Shakespeare adaptations such as "Much Ado About Nothing" and a four-hour "Hamlet," the underrated thriller "Dead Again," cult comedy favorite "Peter's Friends" and the studio misfire "Frankenstein." His career hit a major bumpy patch after his villainous turn in the disappointing "Wild Wild West" and the critical drubbing of his musical version of "Love's Labour's Lost" in 2000. What followed was almost a decade of supporting roles in films such as "Rabbit-Proof Fence," "Valkyrie" and "Pirate Radio" and little substantial directing work. I remember speaking to Branagah when "Sleuth" screened at the 2007 Toronto International Film Festival and he was humbly grateful star and producer Jude Law offered him the chance to helm a movie people were paying attention to. It was a far cry from a decade earlier when he was the toast of Hollywood and "Hamlet" was perceived as a best picture nominee (which didn't happen although it did land four nominations).