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Shakespeare in Love - 1998




Review by DB

This movie features Shakespeare as the central character using his plays and characters in the creation of an Elizabethan period piece. Obvioulsy many years before the invention of the phonograph so no phonograph scenes to influence my selection process for favorite movies. Nevertheless, this movie is in my top five.

Gwenyth Paltrow was cast extremely well and she was rewarded for her performance with an Academy Award for Best Actress.


Great story (Academy Award for Best Picture), very clever use of historical Shakespeare and writer's block device (Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay) and the right mix of comedy and romance, all culminating in the performance of one of my Shakespeare favorite plays, Romeo and Juliet.




I like Roger Ebert's review of this movie who gave the film four stars out of four, and especially agree with this portion of his review when he wrote:

"The contemporary feel of the humor (like Shakespeare's coffee mug, inscribed "Souvenir of Stratford-Upon-Avon") makes the movie play like a contest between "Masterpiece Theatre" and Mel Brooks. Then the movie stirs in a sweet love story, juicy court intrigue, backstage politics and some lovely moments from Romeo and Juliet... Is this a movie or an anthology? I didn't care. I was carried along by the wit, the energy and a surprising sweetness."




For me the music is also very haunting and when I listen to the soundtrack certain scenes still vividly return.










HENSLOWE: "The natural condition is one of unsurmountable obstacles on the road to imminent disaster."


FENNYMAN: "So, what do we do?"


HENSLOWE: "Nothing. Strangely enough, it all turns out well."




HENSLOWE: " I don't know. It's a mystery."