Shakespeare in Love [Blu-ray]
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
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..
Young Shakespeare has writers block. Then he meets and falls in love with Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) the daughter of a nobleman, Viola on the other hand is interested in the forbidden fruit of acting.
This film is set with one-liners and many witty inferences as each character plays off of the other. We almost had the play "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter". My favorite line is when Philip Henslowe: The show must... you know... William Shakespeare: [prompting him] Go on!
Do not miss Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth. Her few appearances add spice to the film.
Judi Dench as Titania in Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) [VHS]
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".Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Clever movie. I enjoy it more each time I watch it. Helps if you are very familiar with Romeo and Juliet.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Story line not great. Probably historically accurate. Definitely not a "watch-again" DVD or one to be added to a collection.Published 20 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