Indyfreak - wrote on 02/01/21
This movie gets a lot of hate for beating Saving Private Ryan over Best Picture. Whilst I agree that’s a better film, Shakespeare in Love remains a very good one.
The story wisely plays loose with historical accuracy and alerts the audience that it’s more of a celebration of Shakespeare and not a straight biographical drama. Thank goodness.
I will admit that the first half of the movie is more farcical than the second half. Some may call it too slight and breezy for its own good. There’s cheeky Shakespeare in-jokes thrown in as well. Some of it pays off, but others are annoying.
Luckily despite these setbacks, Joseph Fiennes is quite charismatic as the bard himself and Gwyneth Paltrow is likable as his love interest Viola. The supporting cast is good. Geoffrey Rush and Tom Wilkinson are especially funny as his beleaguered theater partners. Judi Dench makes an impression as a more down-to-earth Queen Elizabeth I. It’s kind of weird seeing Ben Affleck appear in this but he’s not onscreen much.
A climactic recreation of Romeo & Juliet is the highlight.
John Madden’s capable direction and a game cast makes it quite an entertaining if overindulgent historical dramedy.