Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 (Theater in early 1999, 10 Jan 2004, 3 Sep 2013)
Brief Synopsis – The story of a young Will Shakespeare as he tries to write his masterpiece Romeo and Juliet, all the while dealing with debts, producers, actors, the Queens men, writers block and above all else Love.
My Take on it – This movie happens to be a great movie and in many years I truly believe that it would have deserved to win Best Picture. Unfortunately, it was up against Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1998) which was a movie that completely blew away all the competition.
This movie was nominated for 13 Oscars and won 7 of them. (Picture, Original Screenplay, Actress (Gwyneth Paltrow) Supporting Actress (Judi Dench). Art Direction, Costumes and Musical Score)
It lost Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush), Cinematography, Film Editing, Makeup, Sound and of course Director (John Madden lost to Spielberg).
It is interesting to note that this movie made the Oscar record books for being the movie with most wins without scoring a Best Director award.
I saw this in the theater with my friend Benny and we both understood many of the great Shakespeare allusions throughout the movie. Knowing these facts obviously help the viewing pleasure since it give more realism to the fact that Shakespeare (like most writers) take personal things in their lives and use them in their works of fiction. It was quite clever for Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard to pepper those little tidbits throughout the movie.
Many famous actors appear here, but the 3 that stand out are obviously the 3 listed above who received Oscar nominations.
Paltrow was quite convincing both as Lady Viola as well as Thomas Kent. I don’t know if she deserved an Oscar for this work, but it was a great role and by far the best role of the year.
Dench stole the show in every scene she appeared (and she was only in 8 minutes of this 2 hour film). Truly a remarkable feat.
And Geoffrey Rush once again showed how talented an actor he can be. He was great here and was definitely perfect for the role of a producer trying to do all he can to let the show go on.
Bottom Line – Great movie, Well done, expertly written and acted. Those who are fans of The Bard’s works, will enjoy themselves a lot. Highly Recommended!!
Rating – Oscar Worthy