Shakespeare In Love, Shakespeare In Love Movie Review, Movie Review, Film Review
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Shakespeare In Love

“But soft what light through yonder window breaks, it is the East and Juliet is the sun, Arise fair sun and kill the envious moon, which is already jealous with grieve, that thou her mate are far more fairer than she.”, “Romeo, Romeo, whereforth are thou my Romeo”.

Indeed Shakespeare resonates throughout the magnificent directorial effort of John Madden, who last year gave us the outstanding “Mrs. Brown, Queen Victoria” He does this one with what almost seems effortless, yet his signature is all over the place. Of course with the daunting, daring, refreshing lush script by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard you would think that nothing could go wrong and it doesn’t, mostly because these two have done their homework, besides being creatively inventive.

The witty London paler of Tom Stoppard and the sunny tanned California brown of Marc Norman gives you the right balance for the color of this script. So many aspects of this enterprise have come together that it is miraculous that the casting is almost perfection in itself. Here we have Joseph Fiennes, as the young Will Shakespeare and he lives up to his promise, from his performance in the current “Elizabeth”. He is dashing and desperate to become the writer of his times, with Rupert Everett, as Marlowe giving him a run for his money. His love affair with Gwyneth Paltrow as Lady Viola de Lesseps gives Fiennes some of the steamiest love scenes on screen in some time. How she eventually changes the whole course of the current play that he is writing is what keeps the audience enjoying this film.

“Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate’s Daughter’ soon becomes the tragic romance “Romeo and Juliet”, Thank God, for Verona, Geoffrey Rush surprises in a very comic role, Ben Affleck, rallies with the ego that only actors will understand. Colin Firth is the obnoxious suitor, the Earl of Wessex and in a very crisp performance we get Judi Dench as and older Queen Elizabeth, in her all white make-up that kept her from showing her wrinkles as she got older. The costumes, the cinematography, all enhance the proceedings. Miramax has hit a jackpot.

Shakespeare In Love

Joseph Fiennes ------------ Will Shakespeare
Gwyneth Paltrow ---------- Viola De Lesseps
Geoffrey Rush ------------- Philip Henslowe
Judi Dench ---------------- Queen Elizabeth
Simon Callow ------------- Tilney, Master of the Revels
Colin Firth ----------------- Lord Wessex
Imelda Staunton ----------- Nurse
Ben Affleck --------------- Ned Alleyn
Tom Wilkinson ------------ Hugh Fennyman
Jim Carter ----------------- Ralph Bashford
Martin Clunes ------------- Richard Burbage

Directed by ---------------- John Madden
Produced by --------------- David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Harvey Weinstein, Edward Zwick, Marc Norman
Executive producers -------- Bob Weinstein, Julie Goldstein
Associate producer --------- Linda Bruce
Assistant director ----------- Deborah Saban
Screenplay ----------------- Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard.
Camera -------------------- Richard Greatrex
Editor ---------------------- David Gamble
Music ---------------------- Stephen Warbeck
Production designer -------- Martin Childs
Costume designer ---------- Deborah Scott
Make-up and hair designer -- Lisa Westcott
Casting -------------------- Michelle Guish
MPAA rating:  R
Running time: 122 min

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Original Date 29 December 1998