Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love

DVD - 1998
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When Will Shakespeare needs passionate inspiration to break a bad case of writer's block, a secret romance with the beautiful Lady Viola starts the words flowing like never before!
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Miramax Home Entertainment : Buena Vista Home Entertainment, c1998
ISBN: 9780788818936
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (2 hrs.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


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Apr 27, 2019

Silly and contrived..Fiennes a no starter...Paltrow is pretty.

Apr 22, 2019

Really liked it many years ago so decided to rewatch, but felt it was overacted and a bit “corny”.

Sep 20, 2018

agree with dupree905

Jul 29, 2018

Didn't deserve best picture but this film is good.

Library_Jill Mar 06, 2018

The title says it: this is a story of a writer's-blocked Shakespeare falling in love with a woman who might have the power to become his new muse, if only there weren't so many complications...This one was a classic I had never seen, and I am glad I finally got around to watching it. It hit all of the right notes for the part of me that loves Shakespeare plays, and I like the cleverness of how they teased bits of many of Shakespeare's plays and sonnets into the background of the main story. There seemed to be a lot of memorable lines, and I think that if my family had happened to watch this movie when I was young, it would have made it into the canon of those movies that we quote at each other every time we get together.

oatmeal_crispy Feb 28, 2018

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.
—As You Like It, II.vii

In the big city, a struggling actor turned playwright named Will (Joseph Fiennes) finds himself stymied by writer’s block while plotting a new play after he finds his muse in bed with another. Heartbroken and unable to write more lines, Will’s patron, Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush), begins auditions for the play anyways, unaware that Will hasn’t even written half of it, due to a debt to the local crime boss (Tom Wilkinson). Meanwhile, Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow), the daughter of a rich merchant, has caught the showbiz bug and, risking scandal and an arranged marriage to the scheming Lord Wessex (Colin Firth), disguises herself as a young man to audition for her favourite playwright, Will(iam Shakespeare). Will and Viola meet, confusion and action ensue, mirth and passion arise, and the legend of a play that captures the true nature of love is born.

All’s well that ends well… or something like that.

[Shakespeare in Love] is remembered as the movie that whooped [Saving Private Ryan] at the Oscars, with a little help from [Life Is Beautiful]. It was a very competitive year, but in the end there can only be one. And when we wonder why, we could examine many, many things, but can we not agree that after the twenty or so traumatic minutes on Omaha Beach the rest of [Saving Private Ryan] is anticlimax? Meanwhile, [Shakespeare in Love] builds upon every scene until it achieves the sublime, three times. The first instance being at time index 1:38:46, when Viola turns from the stage to look at Will, with a look that cannot be captured by words but is understood completely all the same.

With charm and intelligence, the writers (Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard), the director (John Madden), and the superb cast have reincarnated Elizabethan London with the feel of the 1990s along with apt and well-timed references to Shakespeare’s future writings aimed to trigger our deep cultural bond with the Bard. Instead of fawning submission to Bardolatry or strict, silent reverence, as is the custom in Bayreuth, Norman and Stoppard have given us an implausible-plausible tale of equal parts reverence and irreverence, filled with the clanging of beer mugs, of muddy streets, of false identities, of psychiatrist apothecaries, and of wherrymen who crossed the Thames with a script under their arms looking for stardom. The audience can see and feel the actors enjoy their roles and the script—drawn from the finest lines ever written.

All’s well that ends well, I’d type.

The works of Shakespeare survive due to their universality, a universality built upon human history and psychology. The times have changed, nations have come and gone, social orders demolished, but human beings still experience feelings in the same way. We all have felt rage and joy, love and indifference. We all know how [Hamlet] ends, all dead, but why do we return to these plays written ages ago? Why do we loathe Iago with all our power and yet despise and respect Richard III? Why do we watch [Macbeth] if not to see how ambition and guilt destroys most completely? Why do we delight in Falstaff than to see life lived at its fullest? And of Lear and Prospero but to know of the perils and obligations of age? It is because the Bard wrote truly of humanity.

This [Shakespeare in Love] proved, thus.
My Favourite Scene: When Lord Wessex was confronted by a “ghost.”

* Oscar for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Score, and Original Screenplay.
* Golden Globes for Best Picture (Comedy), Best Actress, Best Screenplay.
* BAFTA Award for Best Film.
* Berlinale Silver Bear (Norman and Stoppard).
* SAG Award for Outstanding Cast, Outstanding Leading Actress
* WGA Award for Best Screenplay

All’s well that ends well.

May 12, 2017

Masterpiece !!! always entertaining great acting by everyone ~420 . one a few recent movies to truly deserve its Oscars !!!

Feb 09, 2017

what a great way to spend two hours. i see why it won all of those oscars, including best picture. it is a delightful comedy/romance/drama.

Mar 01, 2016

Occasionally, and by turns, strange and inspired. Decent romantic comedy, but with an added touch. Ben Affleck is great playing an egotistical star: possibly the best thing he's ever done.

Aug 21, 2015

Very good film, as if in Shakespearean times, except for the music, which is modern and almost constantly playing in the background. If the music was removed, I'd give it 5/5.

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oatmeal_crispy Feb 28, 2018

Sexual Content: At least three sex scenes. Frontal female nudity.

Jul 14, 2015

Sexual Content: sex scenes

Jun 10, 2010

Sexual Content: This is basically what the whole movie is about.

KHaney Mar 19, 2008

Sexual Content: one sex scene


Add Age Suitability
Jul 14, 2015

Schoolgurl95 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

KHaney Mar 19, 2008

KHaney thinks this title is suitable for


Add a Quote
Jul 14, 2015

William Shakespeare: I'm done with theater. The playhouse is for dreamers. Look what the dream brought us.

Viola De Lesseps: It was we ourselves did that. And for my life to come, I would not have it otherwise.

Jul 14, 2015

William Shakespeare: You will never age for me, nor fade, nor die.


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KHaney Mar 19, 2008

Romantic comedy set in London in the late 16th century: Young playwright William Shakespeare struggles with his latest work "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter". A great fan of Shakespeare's plays is young, wealthy Viola who is about to be married to the cold-hearted Lord Wessex, but constantly dreams of becoming an actress. Women were not allowed to act on stage at that time but dressed up as a boy, Viola successfully auditions for the part of Romeo. Soon she and William are caught in a forbidden romance that provides rich inspiration for his play.

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