Review - Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Delorted - wrote on 11/07/07
Playwright William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) was struck with writer's block. No matter what he tried, he could not find a muse. This all changed, however, when he met Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) and instantly fell in love. Now, while trying to write his play, Romeo and Juliet, he must work through his own love story to win Viola from her cold-hearted courter Lord Wessex (Colin Firth) in the Best Picture winning film, "Shakespeare in Love."
How on earth did this film win Best Picture? There were so many things fighting against it, and not just the fact that Titanic had won the year before and this film is basically the same thing all over again. There's also the fact that it disgraces the name of William Shakespeare by turning one of his greatest works into a Hollywood-ized piece of trash almost as bad as the DiCaprio mess. But let's see if I can pull some dignity out of here.
The acting was good, I'll give it that. I'm not a huge fan of Ben Affleck (who played Ned Alleyn), but he did a fair job. Judi Dench's portrayal of Queen Elizabeth felt troublesome at first, but it grew on me throughout the film. Geoffrey Rush also gave a very well done performance as the comedy relief, Philip Henslowe.
The music was very elegant and emotional, and almost saves the movie at times. The costumes are a bit over-the-top, as I suppose director John Madden wanted the look to feel Shakespearean on and off the stage. It didn't work for me, but I guess that's just a taste.
There really isn't much else to say for "Shakespeare in Love," though I could probably ramble on and on about the unnecessary nude scenes and the overall bad idea this film was. It just baffles me how this film won over Saving Private Ryan, and I've never even seen the latter.
Final Score: 6/10