Shakespeare in Love (1998)

I remember the first time I seen this movie.  It was the opening weekend in Leicester Square, London and the whole place was decked out in a very Shakespearean theme.  We follow Will Shakespeare in Elizabethan London as he attempts to finish his play; Romeo and Ethel – the pirate princess.

So already you know this is not a serious retelling of Britain’s most beloved and favorite playwright.  It is a romantic comedy set in the whimsical world of the actors and stage of the time,  A time where females were strictly forbidden from starring on the stage.

Joseph Fiennes takes on the role of Will, playing it perfectly as he tries to navigate getting words written while paying the bills.   

Geoffrey Rush takes on the role of the theater owner who is in debt and is desperate to put a play to be able to pay his debt to

Tom Wilkinson the local Shylock.

This movie is littered with big stars, popping up in various roles. Not just the A-list British set as you would expect, but American stars such as Ben Affleck.  Speaking of stars, the female lead is

Gwyneth Paltrow playing the daughter of a nobility, who is in love with the stage, but has been sold off to Colin Firth who has made it big with his plantation in Virginia.

The wit and pace of this story is extremely well pitched.  If you know any of the real story of Shakespeare then you will spot lots of little references here and there that don’t detract from the story or make you feel silly for not spotting them.

Well worth the watch.

#77 in the series

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Viewing Date
Tuesday, 3rd November 2015 (Richmond)

Rating
8/10

IMDB YouTubeTrailer