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Shakespeare in Love (Miramax Collector's Series)
Shakespeare in Love
Miramax Collector's Series
Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Steven O'Donnell
Director: John Madden
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     1999     2hr 3min

Triumphant winner of 7 Academy Awards(R) -- including Best Picture -- this witty, sexy smash features Oscar(R)-winning Best Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (SLIDING DOORS, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) and an amazing cast that includes Ac...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Steven O'Donnell
Director: John Madden
Creators: Bob Weinstein, David Parfitt, Donna Gigliotti, Edward Zwick, Harvey Weinstein, Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Romantic Comedies, British, Love & Romance
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 12/07/1999
Original Release Date: 01/08/1999
Theatrical Release Date: 01/08/1999
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 2hr 3min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English
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Movie Reviews

A golden film
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Shakespeare in Love is a film for anyone who loves art and literature
with a passion. Aside from being a beautiful love story, the film
itself is a "love letter" to the arts. I can only describe
it as a "golden" film, because that's what I think of when I
picture scenes from the movie...pure gold. I love Shakespeare, and
the brilliant screenplay manages to make a flesh and blood person out
of such an enigmatic historical figure - it may not be real, but it's
a lot of fun nonetheless. The acting is superb - Gwyneth Paltrow is
glorious, Judi Dench is fabulous, Geoffrey Rush is hilarious, and
Joseph Fiennes is the hottest thing to come along since his older
brother! I love the ending especially - Twelfth Night is my favorite
Shakespearean play, and the last line just speaks volumes: "For
she will be my heroine for all time, and her name will be Viola."
Perhaps the best thing about the film is the way it blends comedy and
tragedy together in such a bittersweet way. One final note: I too
was surprised that this film won Best Picture, because I also loved
Saving Private Ryan. Both films were cinematic masterpieces of very
different kinds, and both were equally worthy. I'm glad the Academy
shook things up a little.bfounded while the final credits rolled. Marc
Norman and Tom Stoppard must have loved their subject matter,
researched the period with zeal as well as having the ability to
create a moving romantic drama.

The whole thing was created
out of the barest glimmer of fact concerning Shakespeare's life. It
focuses on the gap between his marriage in London as a young man and
his eventual return to London as a successful playwright. The theory
states that "suffering is the mother of creativity", so
Young William must have had a great deal of hardship indeed. Hence,
the opportunity for a wonderful movie to be made.

A handsome
young Shakespeare is introduced to us during a black period of
writer's block. He is portrayed as any other writer we could imagine;
poor, horny, suffering from professional jealousy and not particularly
respectable. He's over-committed to two theatres and selling vaporware
for all he's worth. Poorly named vaporware at that, "Romeo and
Ethyl the Pirate's Daughter".

But fate has more in store
for this hopeful scribbler than even he would dream. Enter stage left,
the love of his life, in the guise of an actor, shyly auditioning for
a part in his new play. (Shades of Blackadder here). He is immediately
taken by this youthfull stage strutter because of a seeming preference
for Bill's work over that of the leading playwright of the day,
Christopher Marlowe.

This interest takes him to the actor's
home, where Tomas Kent transforms himself into Viola De Lesseps the
refined daughter of a wealthy merchant. This magic act is only
possible because of the artful protection offered by Viola's nurse and
part time confidant, played by Imelda Staunton. And as with Clarke
Kent, no one can penetrate the cunning disguise of Mr Thomas Kent,
except for a friendly ferryman. And it is this very ferryman that puts
William on the right path in his pursuit of the lady Viola.

And so we get the privilege of watching William Shakespeare give
birth to the Famous Romeo and Juliet as a counterpoint to his torrid
and dangerous affair with a woman betrothed to Lord Wessex; one of the
most influential and powerful men in the city. The ups and downs, ins
and outs of this relationship, and its eventual end, are all
delightful to watch as well as being grist for the mill of
Shakespeare's future plays.

For anyone that has even a passing
familiarity with the Bard's work or just likes a good romance, take
the time to enjoy this special movie. In fact, take a few times
because it gets better with every viewing.

Will Shakespeare At His Best
Lyn Tobin | Sydney, Australia | 11/25/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie really hit home for me. I just sat there in awe of the acting, the way the story unfolded. It totally engrossed me. I saw it three times at the movies and could have easily gone to see it again and again. When it won so many Academy Awards, I wasn't surprised except I thought Saving Private Ryan should have won Best Picture. I also felt that Tom Wilkinson didn't get the praise he deserved. His performance was, as usual for Tom, understated and perfect. I thought he should have been nominated instead of Geoffrey Rush, for best supporting actor, and I'm an aussie. I also felt Joseph Fiennes should have got a Best Actor gong. Gwyneth was great but Joseph's performance of Will was exceptional to say the least. The highlights for me were the unfolding of the two stories, (Romeo and Juliet & Will and Viola). Then the actual performance of Romeo and Juliet and the intertwining tragedy of Will and Viola. The way the audience reacted at the end said it all. I think that 'Shakespeare In Love' is mainly a movie that females thoroughly love. The males in my circle of friends and family didn't quite GET IT so to speak.Also deserving of mention were Colin Firth and the actor with the the stutter, which miraculously disappeared at the start of the play."
Hilarious, intelligent, irreverent
Debbie Lee Wesselmann | the Lehigh Valley, PA | 03/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I honestly did not know what to expect when I first sat down to watch "Shakespeare In Love." Perhaps that was for the best, since this film teems with unexpected moments and twists, turning literary history upside down and giving it a clever and bawdy twist. Gywenth Paltrow plays a young noblewoman who is expected to be demurely betrothed, but who wants none of the life ahead of her. She yearns for the theater, and, in her headstrong, ambitious drive, dresses like a boy to obtain a part in Will Shakespeare's newest drama. Of course, the two fall in love (hence the title!) and their duplicity leads to plot complications that get more and more outrageous. Literary jokes abound, but you don't need to know a whit about Shakespeare to enjoy this romp. This is a romantic comedy cloaked in Elizabethian times, an anachronism that is thoroughly satisfying.Paltrow's Viola is gutsy, intelligent, and torn, a portrayal that deservedly earned her an Oscar. Joseph Fiennes makes a lovable, bumbling Will Shakespeare. The two display a chemistry that brings the witty script to life and elevates this film to a level above most romantic comedies.This film should appeal to a wide range of viewers - even those who hated studying Shakespeare in school."
Me Thinks Thine Oscars Well Deserved....But Beware the DVD
L. Shirley | fountain valley, ca United States | 02/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This review refers to the Miramax Dec 1998 release DVD edition of "Shakespeare in Love".....

Had I written this review 2 months ago I would certainly have gone five stars for this DVD package. The film alone is worth that as is this edition(see above) of the DVD, an outstanding quality transfer in regards to picture and sound alike. As I was looking for the product page, I now see that Miramax(same studio of production as this one), has now come out with a "Collector's Series"(just released 1/14/03),with lots of special features of this same film. I'm one that usually will go for the less expensive edition, as a good quality transfer of my favorite films is more important to me than the "Extras", however I do enjoy them if the price is right! But Aye...Here's the rub....The new "Collector's Series" with all it's "Bonus" material IS by far the less expensive one! Ah me!

In 1998, "Oscar" had it's work cut out for him. Not only was it a controversial year (Elia Kazan was to recieve a "Lifetime Achievement Award" that year, but that's a story for another time), but the Academy had actually nominated films that were deserving of all the recognition they were to recieve. Although there were so many wonderful films to choose from that year(including "Gods and Monsters" and Affliction"), War movies and English Period pieces were the leading contenders. Leading the pack were two that were considered to be the most likely to win. Those were Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" and John Madden's "Shakespeare in Love". Terrance Malick's beautiful film "The Thin Red Line" was also in consideration. "Shakespeare" was leading the nods by 2(could this possibly be due to the fact that there were no women in "Saving Ryan" to nominate?) So the competetion would be pretty much head to head. When Spielberg picked up his Best Director Oscar for his wonderful tribute to the soldiers of WWII, we all thought, Well, there it is, he'll be back on stage one more time. But it was not to be, "Shakespeare in Love" was announced as the Best Picture, and I might add well deserved!

I love War Movies and "Saving Private Ryan" is one of the best, but "Shakespeare in Love", was a breath of fresh air, one that will keep you smiling from start to finish.It is the story of the young Will Shakespeare with a bit of writer's block and he's trying to find his muse for inspiration. He discovers her in the form of one Lady Viola, who he must meet with secretly( a la Romeo and Juliet) as she is pretending to be a boy(a la "The Twelfth Night") in order to be a part of the actor's group in the 1500's, and alas, The Lady Viola is promised to another. With his newly aquirred inspiration and feelings of love abounding, the young Bard's famous words now flow easily from quill to paper.

Anything you might expect to find in a play by Shakespeare, you will find in this wonderful original screenplay(also awarded Best by Oscar). There is comedy, romance, tragedy, duels, love triangles,royalty,all unfolding beautifully in this incredible film. If you have read any Shakespeare at all, you will often find yourself patting yourself on the back, for recognizing dialouge and events interspersed in the story that will later be found in his greatest works. You may even notice a hint of the long running scholarly debate of whether Shakespeare wrote his own plays. But it is not neccessary to be a fan of his to throughly enjoy the film.

This film garnered critical acclaim internationally as well as from Oscar(7 Oscars) and also for the well deserving cast. Performances by the likes of Judi Dench, Geoffrey Rush,Gwyneth Paltrow,Joseph Fiennes and Colin Firth will take your breath away.The costumes, cinematography, direction and the score all make for one all around outstanding film to be enjoyed for years to come.

As I mentioned the picture and sound is the best, and my only reason for the 4 stars is because of the price of this edition at this time.( I like to review the entire package) There is some bonus material(not shown in the tech info) and that is some notes on some of the real life figures that are a part of the story. Very informative.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow"......enjoy...Laurie

also recommended:
A Couch in New York
Antonia`s Line ~ Oscar Winning Original Version [Import, All-region] (Dvd)
Unbearable Lightness of Being [ NON-USA FORMAT, PAL, Reg.2 Import - Netherlands ]"