"True to the spirit of the world's greatest author"
"costumes and scenery are flawless"
"THE film to watch when HE is watching the football"
Shakespeare In Love with Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes,
Judi Dench and Geoffrey Rush
The reign of Elizabeth I finds Will Shakespeare, a
writer, broke and envious of a rival. Then, he meets with a woman who
wants to be an actor and who disguises herself as a man...
One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies
of the 1990s, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is filled with
such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners and devilish cleverness
that it's absolutely irresistible. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, at
its outset the film tracks young Will Shakespeare's overwrought battle
with writer's block and the efforts of theatre owner Philip Henslowe
(Geoffrey Rush, in rare form) to stage Will's latest comedy, Romeo and
Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Jokey comedy, though, soon takes a
backseat to ravishing romance when the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth
Paltrow) disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in
the all-male cast and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much
misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Soon enough, Will's pirate
comedy becomes the beautiful, tragic Romeo and Juliet, reflecting
the agony and ecstasy of Will and Viola's romance - he's married and she's
set to marry the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth).
The way that Oscar-winning screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard
enfold their story within the parameters of Romeo and Juliet is
brilliant - it would take a
Shakespearean scholar to dissect the innumerable parallels, oft-quoted
lines, plot developments, and thematic borrowings.
Norman and Stoppard haven't forgotten to entertain their audience with rollicking
energy. Along the way there are gems to be found, including Judi
Dench's Oscar-winning turn as Queen
Elizabeth, but the key element
rests on the milky-white shoulders of its two stars. Fiennes, inexplicably
overlooked at Oscar time, is a dashing, heartfelt Will and as for Best
Actress winner Paltrow, well, nothing she'd done before could have
prepared viewers for how amazing she is here. Breathtakingly beautiful,
fiercely intelligent, strong-willed and lovestruck - it's a performance
worthy of Shakespeare in more ways than one. By the film's end, you'll be
thoroughly won over - and brushing up your Shakespeare with newfound
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