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It all begins when Lady Viola, desperate to become an actor at a time when women were forbidden from such depravity, disguises herself as a man to audition for Will's play. But the guise slips away as their passion ignites. Now Will's quill again begins to flow, this time turning love into words, as Viola becomes his real-life Juliet and Romeo finds his reason to exist.
One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies of the '90s, 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 theater 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) in the near future.
The way that Oscar-winning screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard enfold their story within the parameters of Romeo and Juliet (and even Twelfth Night) is nothing short of brilliant--it would take a Shakespearean scholar to dissect the innumerable parallels, oft-quoted lines, plot developments, and thematic borrowings. And most amazingly, Norman and Stoppard haven't forgotten to entertain their audience in addition to riding a Shakespearean roller coaster, with director John Madden (Mrs. Brown) reigning in his huge ensemble with rollicking energy. Along the way there are small gems to be found, including Judi Dench's eight-minute, Oscar-winning turn as a truly regal Queen Elizabeth, but the key element of Shakespeare in Love's success 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 ardor. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Story line not great. Probably historically accurate. Definitely not a "watch-again" DVD or one to be added to a collection.Published 15 months ago by Gail Macmillan
I loved this film.
It is about a fictional love affair between Shakespeare & his love for a woman who desires to be an actress. Read more
The product is out of Canada and therefore 1080i not p as we are accustomed. The shipping charges are outrageous. I think I could have shipped a case of them for this price. Read morePublished on Feb. 8 2011 by lady4951
First, my Sharp bluray player had trouble playing this disc. And I have the latest firmware. There is no initial menu, the disc just starts playing and all you can do is change... Read morePublished on Aug. 1 2010 by Iconoclast
This is one of the best written films of the past 30 years and it's incredibly romantic and funny as well. Read morePublished on July 13 2010 by Shane Anthony