Buy “Shakespeare in Love Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Steven O'Donnell, Tim McMullan, Steven Beard, Antony Sher, Patrick Barlow, Martin Clunes, Sandra Reinton, Simon Callow, John Madden, Bob Weinstein, David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Edward Zwick, Harvey Weinstein, Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard Movies & TV” Online

Shakespeare in Love

Young Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) feels utterly defeated. He’s museless, wordless, and he’s sold a non-existent play to 2 competing playhouses. He’s up the Elizabethan creek, and I can’t recall if this is a day for his standing therapy appointment. Weekly psychotherapy sessions are just one of the wonderful anachronistic modern-day constructs inserted into this marvel of a movie, set in 1593 London. One very famous play then begins, as a mockery of itself– "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter. " The Queen (Judi Dench) has a predilection for humor, definitely not love plays. When auditions begin for the skeleton play, Thomas Kent (Gwyneth Paltrow in men’s guise), steps up. Will is awed by his talent. A mandate of the era makes it unlawful for a woman to appear on a public stage. All women are played by men. (A quick aside: "Stage Beauty" on Prime, skillfully zeroes in on this subject). There are many ingenious parodied and paradoxical representations of that requirement throughout. We know from the start that Viola De Lesseps (playing Kent playing. ..) is the daughter of a wealthy merchant, and a young woman with a passion to act. This is when the other passion is unleashed, and Will and Viola are enraptured and their lovemaking is just plain gorgeous and hot. And thus the true play begins, as this pairing begins to breathe life and form into it. The rest remains to be seen. Always reluctant to use the "p" word, I must in this instance — it’s perfect. The acting is brilliant by all, obviously the 2 leads, but also Rush, Wilkinson, Dench, all. The writing, directing, filming, editing, art direction, costumes, all filmmaking disciplines, are precisely in sync and dazzling. The screenplay (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard) incorporates exquisite prose, poetry, excerpts from Shakespeare, references to his work, parodies, spoofs, and just their own brilliant writing, congruent with Shakespeare’s. The directing (John Madden) is masterful, but natural and fluid. The cinematography by Richard Greatrex (so apt) is flawless, whether tight, long, or wide shots, angles, movement. The transitions between scenes are seamless; notable are those depicting Will and Viola’s lovemaking, Viola alternating Identities as Viola and Kent. David Gamble, who provided the film editing, must have a hand in that. How great to have this extraordinary, prodigiously awarded film, as a Prime offering! Wholeheartedly recommend! Check it out!

Product description Shakespeare In Love One of the most winning and intelligent romantic comedies of the ’90s, Shakespeare in Love is filled with such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners, and devilish cleverness that it’s absolutely irresistible. At the 1999 Academy Awards, this dark-horse costume comedy sneaked off with seven Oscars, besting the highly favored Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture. 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. Most of the jokes in the first one-third of the film are along these lines: Will’s anachronistic therapist session, a mug inscribed “A Souvenir from Stratford-Upon-Avon,” Henslowe’s battles to pay off his debts, and the backstage high jinks of pre-production. However, once Will sets his eyes on the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), joking takes a backseat to ravishing romance. Well, almost–turns out Viola wants to break into the world of male-only theater, and disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition. She wins the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright’s heart. Soon enough, Will’s pirate comedy becomes a beautiful, tragic romance, and Ethel is shoved aside for a woman named Juliet. Will and Viola’s romance, however, is equal parts comedy and tragedy–he’s married, and she’s betrothed to the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth), and it doesn’t take an English major to figure out that it’s not all’s well that ends well. Like Shakespeare’s work itself, the film is instantly accessible to everyone, from the raucous groundlings looking for low comedy to the aesthetes hankering for some intellectual bite behind their entertainment. 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. Director John Madden (Mrs. Brown) reigns in his huge ensemble with a rollicking energy that keeps the film’s momentum going at top speed for its entire two hours. Along the way there are small gems to be found: Ben Affleck’s riotous egotistical actor, Imelda Staunton’s nimble nurse, and of course Judi Dench’s eight-minute, Oscar-winning turn as a truly regal Queen Elizabeth. However, 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 Will as we might expect him at the early stage of his career, bundled full of comedy and tragedy but unsure of how to harness his talent. 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




Shakespeare in Love Review


Sweet, funny, dramatic, and passionate. Just thinking about this movie makes me smileWilliam is struggling to complete his next comedy, "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter" to fulfill a promise to theater owner Philip Henslowe (portrayed with the perfect combination of panic and resignation by Geoffrey Rush). One night, William sneaks in to a party with friends and meets the daughter of the house, Viola de Lesseps and falls in love with her from across the room. Further complicating matters, Lady Viola, tired of the constrictions of being a woman, binds her breasts and appears at auditions for "Romeo and Ethel," presenting herself as the son of a servant in the household and taking messages from Shakespeare to her "mistress. "The all-star cast includes Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth, quintessential nice guy Colin Firth as Viola’s betrothed, the unlikeable Lord Wessex, Ben Affleck as actor Ned Alleyn, and "Harry Potter"’s Imelda Staunton as the Nurse. Look quick and you can even catch sight of John Inman from "Are You Being Served. " -Read Reviews-

A neat movie, a great story, lots of laughs, a total transport to a time far removed, and terrific acting by a handful of first rate people. This is a movie I put on when I need to get away for awhile. It immediately draws me into Shakespeare’s world and keeps me there, laughing and empathizing, for the duration. Working the lines of Romeo and Juliet into the dialog is tremendous. The final performance of the play, as we know that the protagonist is about to be carried off to America much against her will, is absolutely wonderful. The brief appearance of Judy Dench as Queen Elizabeth puts the final touch on the whole thing. Apart from the wonderful work of the actors (and what a host it is!) there is historical accuracy that is remarkable. This could have been a paste up of any "old timey" scenery. It was, in fact, extremely accurately done from start to finish. So. .. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes touching, sometimes sad, but always engaging. ..Just what movies are for!!

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