Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Megan Follows, Barbara Bryne, Antonio Cimolino, Mary Hitch Blendick
Director: Norman Campbell
Best version yet
ZuluQueen | 03/17/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The format of the movie is different: they film the play as actors are performing it on a real-life stage. You can even hear the audience reacting to the story in the background. I thought this made the whole experience more authentic and enjoyable, because Shakespeare only ever intended it to be performed at a theater, and not on a movie set. I think that's why I didn't enjoy the1996 or 1968 versions as much. With this version, you get the feeling that you're actually spending an evening at the theater.
This version of Romeo and Juliet was filmed in 1993, and it's said that the director set the play during Mussolini's time to up the sense of drama and hatred. This time period pick is a good one, because it doesn't interfere with the overall effect of the play, unlike in the 1996 version (Romeo + Juliet with Claire Danes and Leo DiCaprio), where the scenery kind of took over the whole plot and made it hard to appreciate Shakespeare's writing.
The two leads are very talented: Megan Follows plays Juliet just a few years after doing her second Anne of Green Gables movie, and the boyish Antoni Cimolino plays Romeo with a lot of charisma. Both actors perform with honesty and enthusiasm, so you never get bored. The two have chemistry, which is perfect for this particular play.
The other two remarkable actors are Juliet's doting, screechy nurse (played by the brilliant Barbara Bryne), and fun-loving Mercutio (played by the remarkably versatile Colm Feore). There are a few scenes in the film where they provide laugh-out-loud comic relief; I think I remember that more than the tragedy, although I found myself truly emotionally moved at the sad parts, too.
I think what I like best about this movie is that it is not entirely serious; the delicate balance of comedy and tragedy is definitely kept. And I think the stage director (Richard Monette) and all the actors put a lot of care into making this a memorable performance. You actually get into the play and what's going on. It's definitely better than anything I saw in high school. There are a few little extras on the DVD, too. Definitely worth it!