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Shakespeare in Love [Blu-ray]

Gwyneth Paltrow , Joseph Fiennes , John Madden    R (Restricted)   Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (339 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 14.99
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Frequently Bought Together

Shakespeare in Love [Blu-ray] + Romeo + Juliet (Bilingual) [Blu-ray]
Price For Both: CDN$ 23.97



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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

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
The DVD casing claimed in big bold letters "Best Screenplay" Academy Award winner. I can surely see why! Must have been some deviously creative team that crafted this crisp comic period-piece.
The film is really two love stories: one a bawdy romance between two smitten humans, and the other an ode to the art of theatre. The writers'/director's love for showmanship is loud and evident throughout the brilliant screenplay, and if you're a fan of wordplay in any way, well then this is a surefire delight.
Both Paltrow and Fienners turn in lusciously romantic performances in their respective roles -- she pulls off the formidable order of gender-switching without a hitch, and he has just the right pitches and patterns for a young, struggling Shakespeare. Geoffrey Rush is magnetic as usual.
Don't be fooled by the Elizabethan accoutrements, this film and its arsenal of laconic quips could easily shoot several contemporary romances to dust. Buy this one in fact, don't just rent, it quite comfortably stands the test of more than one viewing..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst Blu-ray ever July 11 2011
By Luiz
Format:Blu-ray
This Alliance version is probably one of the worst releases ever! First, there is no menu and no subtitles. This alone would be somewhat acceptable in your case if you understand English accents very well, but on top of that you get a very bad transfer with a noticeable blue tint on the edges of the movie! Looks like bleeding light from the scanner. Really bad. Try to get the other releases, avoid the Alliance one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Takes On Shakespeare June 1 2004
Format:DVD
This won the Oscar for Best Picture in 1998. Stars Joseph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow as the romantic partners William Shakespeare and his Muse, with Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I. This is a lush film to look at in many respects. The authentic period costumes is a nice touch. The film is mostly set in the theatre of Shakespeare's day. At this time, there were no female actresses. Only men were involved in theatre. Men played the role of women. Nowadays, it's twisted to think the first Romeo and Juliet were two men. The movie has no accuracy or truth to actual historic account. William Shakespeare was never romantically linked to the character Gwyneth Paltrow plays.
The whole thing is a fictionalized, dramatic melodrama that never took place. William Shakespeare was married to Anne Hathaway but there is evidence he was unfaithful and loved the Jewish keyboard player "Dark Lady" of whom he writes about in his sonnets. The movie is merely Hollywood taking on Shakespeare and it has since been used in English courses throughout the US. Shakespeare is enacted by Joseph Fiennes who is doing a terrific job. However, I don't much care for Gwyneth Paltrow's performance, no matter how much Oscar appeal she was said to circulate. She comes off as pretty wooden and the typical romantic heroine straight out of a bodice ripper, romantic novel. All she does is fall in love for Shakespeare and even goes to the lengths of dressing as a man to be near him during production of Romeo and Juliet. Judi Dench, a sublime actress though she is, does not LOOK anything like the real Queen Elizabeth. They could have cast an actress who looked the part more truthfully. Judi Dench did a better job as England's Queen Victoria in the movie "Mrs. Brown".
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Format:DVD
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is absolutely one of my all time favorite films. A big part of its charm, for me, lies in the fact that it revolves around young Will Shakespeare, not Shakespeare, grown and established at the Globe Theatre.
Set in late Elizabethan England, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE takes place during a time when theatres were as often closed (for may reasons, plague being one of the worst) as they were open, and when Will Shakespeare was but a struggling, young playwright, attempting to hold his own against the more popular Kit Marlowe.
We learn a lot about theatre in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, especially during the opening scenes, and, if you're a theatre lover (and a love of Shakespeare) like I am, this part of the film will delight you rather than bore you. Actually, the scenes are so delightfully performed and the dialogue so witty, I don't know how anyone could be bored, theatre lover or not.
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE is a story revolving around Elizabethan theatre but it's also a love story. As Will struggles to meet deadlines (and with a broken quill, no less) he longs for something to recharge his batteries, so to speak. Along comes Viola De Lesseps, the daughter of a wealthy man. Viola not only goes against popular opinion and prefers Shakespeare to Marlowe, she has the overwhelming urge to act in one of Shakespeare's plays.
The roles of women, in Elizabethan England, were played by men, so Viola must dress, and act, as a man, Romeo, to be exact. And, predictably, but still, charmingly, Will Shakespeare is smitten by "Romeo," then later falls hopelessly in love with Viola.
Of course, the path of love, true or not, never runs as smoothly as we would like it to and it doesn't for Will and Viola, either.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare in Love on DVD!!! April 24 2004
Format:DVD
Directed by John Madden ''Shakespeare in Love'' was the winner of 7 academy awards including Best Picture, Best atcress, and Best supporting actress.
This was a great film. The sets were good, the budget obviously was big, the acting was great by Fiennes, Paltrow, Rush and others and it was very entertaining. However the movie does have many flaws though most of which were revealed
on Special Edition DVD and by simple facts of history on Shakespeare himself.
For instance on DVD Director John Madden does mention that he takes
liberties with the film, including the depiction of future playwright John Webster as a street beggar, who gets turned by William Shakespeare. In fact, half of the film takes many liberties which scholars will debate as untrue.
For one is the depiction in which Christopher Marlowe (Rupert Everette) seems to be the one that gives Will, all the ideas to write ''Romeo and Juliet'', including the characer of Mercutio and Romeo. I asked this to my English teacher who is
a big Shakespeare buff and researched this and could find no proof that Marlowe
even met with Shakespeare. So these events in the film stretched the truth.
The other liberty the film takes is depicting Shakespeare as a heterosexual , who loves women, when in fact, the real Shakespeare loved not only women, but young boys. Shakespeare was a bisexual but you research his background, you'll
(...)
his Sonnets, for an unknown young man.
The good points of the film is that several depictions of Elizabethan life are factual.
Throughout the 13 to 1600's, the plays written by Shakespeare and Marlowe were largely unknown. Since, the Bubonic Plague was rampant this also
posed a problem for potential audiences.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a disappointment, with all the academy awards it won
Story line not great. Probably historically accurate. Definitely not a "watch-again" DVD or one to be added to a collection.
Published 2 months ago by Gail Macmillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Shakespeare in Love [ Widescreen ] [ Collectors Series ]
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
Published 14 months ago by Robert The Bruce
1.0 out of 5 stars The Definiion of Barebones
This is not a review of the film which harvested 7 Academy Awards but of this blu-ray release. It is the worst I have so far. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2011 by Karl Mauk
1.0 out of 5 stars Not happy
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 more
Published on Feb. 8 2011 by lady4951
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead", do not miss this
Well actually, this film stands on its own. Who knows this could be the way it happened or should have happened. Read more
Published on Aug. 20 2010 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars Great film - okay Bluray edit
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 more
Published on Aug. 1 2010 by Iconoclast
5.0 out of 5 stars "I LOVE YOU WILL, BEYOND POETRY"
This is one of the best written films of the past 30 years and it's incredibly romantic and funny as well. Read more
Published on July 13 2010 by Shane Anthony
5.0 out of 5 stars Rush in an unforgettable role
Although Geoffrey Rush is not the star of the film, he delivers a memorable performance, as usual. Fiennes does, also. Read more
Published on June 16 2004
1.0 out of 5 stars Emotionally Fraudulent and Morally Offensive NON-Love Story
Before I start out, I should say that I am NOT one of those people who think they have to deride "Shakespeare in Love" because it's a "chick flick" and therefore unworthy(?! Read more
Published on June 12 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun But Flawed Flick
Shakespeare in Love is a lot of fun to watch. However, it is also flawed. There are major inaccuracies in it. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by Charles J. Rector
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