Shakespeare in Love
Release Year: 1998
Director: John Madden
Writers: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, Tom Wilkinson, Steven O’Donnell, Martin Clunes, Judi Dench, Imelda Staunton, Ben Affleck, Simon Callow, Jim Carter
Rating: Won 7 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Music. Nominated for 6 Oscars: Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Makeup. Won 3 Golden Globes: Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical. Best Actress – Comedy or Musical (Gwyneth Paltrow), Best Screenplay. Nominated for 3 Golden Globes: Best Director, Best Supporting Actress (Judi Dench), Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush).
A young William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is out of money and ideas when he meets and falls in love with the unattainable Lady Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) as is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.
A couple of Best Picture winners at the Oscars in the 1990s have been widely discussed till this day, and Shakespeare in Love is probably one of the least well-liked of those contested winners. However, there are some things that speak for it: it’s unusual, being a 1990s style rom-com set in Tudor England, it takes a fictionalized version of Shakespeare and ties some of his plays into the story in a surprising way, and it is has a strong cast (more the supporting cast then the two leads, but still). On the other hand, it is a fairly straight forward rom-com and not a particularly outstanding one. In fact, the film is hardly memorable apart from a few golden moments, again, delivered by the supporting cast. Judi Dench (Philomena, 2013) is outstanding as Queen Elizabeth, and Geoffrey Rush (The Book Thief, 2013) is very funny, albeit in the way he usually is, Firth (Magic in the Moonlight, 2014) get to play a despicable character for once and does so very well. The production and costume design is excellent, the scripts has its funny moments, but it ultimately remains little more than a rom-com in a different setting and one might be forgiven to expect more from a Best Picture winner. Recommended to the romantically inclined.
Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter are made in real life. In the film that play the same part. Staunton plays the nurse on stage, while Staunton plays the nurse off stage.
Picture Copyright: UIP