Shakespeare in Love - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Shakespeare in Love Reviews

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May 22, 2019
Possibly the most notorious product of the Harvey Weinstein-era of the Academy Awards was Shakespeare in Love's win over the much more liked Saving Private Ryan (1998) and The Thin Red Line (1998). Although I am not a fan of either of those two films I can see why they are objectively better than this icky Gwyneth Paltrow vehicle. With a screenplay loaded with in-jokes about Shakespeare, courtesy of Tom Stoppard, and several opportunities for the sort of humor that only a RADA graduate could love this was certainly a film tailored to actors who had been "treading the boards." Both this and the whisper campaign against Saving Private Ryan caused Academy voters to award this undeserving film the top prize and it is a damn shame considering the classics that came out of 1998.

William Shakespeare, Joseph Fiennes, is facing writer's block with very little time to complete his next play when he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps, Gwyneth Paltrow, who is hiding several secrets. In order to become an actress she must dress up as a man and when she begins an affair with Shakespeare their off-screen affair effects their on-stage work. Supporting players include Ben Affleck as the originator of Mercutio, Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth I for a whole eight minutes and Colin Firth as de Lesseps' unappealing fianc 1/2 1/2 (C). In the end the two lovers are separated but not before she inspires several of Shakespeare's greatest plays.

This film is categorized as a "romantic comedy" but I would dispute that as it is not particularly romantic. In theory we get the classic tale of a fuck boy being tamed by a sweet but ultimately unobtainable woman who teaches him a few things about love and commitment. On screen none of the charm that could come with that story is present as Paltrow and Fiennes lack any real chemistry and their dialogue feels so self-conscious that it is hard to believe in any real 1/2 1/2~connection' between them. The infamous love scene in which the binding under Paltrow's dress takes an unbelievably long time to remove is not sexy or funny but dull. Comedic sex scenes can work in otherwise romantic films, see The Big Sick (2016), but here it just felt painful as we see Paltrow strain for demure sexuality and Fiennes be his unexciting self.

I was more often annoyed by the movie's references to Shakespeare's real personal history, his multiple signatures and significantly older wife, than charmed by or amused by it. In particular Dench's glorified cameo as the Queen irked me as she does little more than a bad Spitting Image style impression, I expected more from the woman who made Notes on a Scandal (2006) so deliciously uncomfortable. Affleck is not an able comedic performer, as shown by his performance in the romantic comedy Jersey Girl (2004), and here all of his shortcomings are on display as he seems lost amongst the pretension and pageantry on display throughout the film, that is not to say that Affleck is not himself pretentious. A romantic comedy should also be funny and this film is certainly not, it's painful to listen to Paltrow deliver lines that Stoppard has written with a smack of self-satisfaction.

The film is neither romantic nor funny and is far too satisfied with it's own 1/2 1/2~intelligent' jokes to really be enjoyed by anybody. Down with Love (2003) contains inside jokes that playfully mock the romantic comedies of the 1950s like Pillow Talk (1959) whilst also having a lovely romance and some laugh out loud moments. Shakespeare in Love doesn't even feel like it has any real love for it's subject and it's jokes aren't enjoyably light and playfully they just land without a trace of the laughter they are meant to create.

I obviously don't think that this is the best film of 1998, a really interesting year for cinema, because it's not very funny, the performances aren't very good and it's suffocating in it's pretension. One of the many better films to come out of 1998 was Life Is Beautiful which is charming and deceptively meaningful without feeling pretentious or annoying. If you take anything away from this lengthy review please, please don't watch Shakespeare in Love and instead watch Life Is Beautiful (1998) or any of the other countless great films to come out of 1998.
½ May 11, 2019
"Shakespeare in Love" strives to be many things: a period piece, a romance, a screwball comedy, a showbiz picture, and a fictionalized telling of creative inspiration. It succeeds, even if it never reaches the greatness a premise like this deserves.
½ March 26, 2019
Mentioning the film Shakespeare In Love to most anyone will elicit the same reaction as mentioning the 2004 film Crash. 'Oh, that shouldn't have won Best Picture, (insert appropriate cinematic superior here) should have. Having seeing it, I can say with confidence that Saving Private Ryan should have taken home the big prize at that ceremony, but I was happy to have enjoyed it more than I suspected I would. Having watched Laurence Olivier's insufferably verbose Hamlet not long ago, I was worried that this would be a more modern version of a Shaky play. Thankfully however, it includes only snippets of dialogue from the story its based on, Romeo & Juliet. I liked how our lead's day to day life helped to shape both the tragic and comedic elements of his play, but I wasn't sold on the romance. Every time the hero and heroine get together it feels like the film is slowing down. Also, despite taking home an Oscar statuette herself, and flaunting an impressive English accent, Gwyneth Paltrow turns in an awkward, often stilted performance. It's like Keanu Reeves in Dracula, where his attempts to accurately recite his lines leave little room for inflections or even facial expressions. She looks like she's trying so hard to speak the lines that she's left little room for acting them. But the cast is mostly excellent, and aside from a few draggy sections the film has a surprisingly swift pace. The camerawork is fluid and keeps the action engaging and exciting, and the play rehearsals and performance at the end are masterfully shot, giving you a taste of what it would have been like to witness a Shakespeare play back in the day. The controversy over its Oscar success might have overshadowed its quality, and I would highly recommended it to any fan of Shakespeare and/or period drama.
February 16, 2019
70 / 100

It's ok. The acting is ok, the plot is ok, the music is ok... Yeah, it's just ok.
½ December 27, 2018
Shakespeare In Love is good, perhaps even Best Screenplay good, but it is not Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, or Best Picture good, I'm talking to you Harvey Weinstein
December 20, 2018
In this film William Shakespeare falls in love with a girl and she inspires hilm to write beautiful works of art. He writes Romeo and Juliet with this woman as his muse. He gathers up the best actors from throughout the city and they all perform their hearts out for this play. It is a smashing success and then he decides to write more stories with this woman as his inspiration for the rest of his life. She represent is his passion, and with his passion for her he creates beautiful artwork.
July 9, 2018
What a great movie from start to finish!!! Great cast and supporting cast!! Martin Clunes Judy Dench A+++
July 6, 2018
ITS A MUST SEEEEEEEEEE BGD,,, it is soooooo romantic w 7elw awiiiiiiii ;)
½ June 22, 2018
This is the classic American blockbuster movie, with a great success and a great cost. I mean: this motion picture about William Shakespeare is watchable but if we're speaking about literature, this ain't much. Historically speaking, 16th and 17th century England has been almost perfectly represented, but I think that the director could have shown the life of 96% of European (and English obviously) population during that period, i.e. poverty, diseases and a disappointing degree of dirt. Only the "water-soap-dance-love" life of aristocracy's been showed. But what's this damned movie's topic? William Shakespeare is a young and rule less theater writer who works for a company but then he leaves it for another one and in the meanwhile he falls in love with a girl who gives him inspiration for the "Romeo and Juliet" play. This is it, nothing more, nothing less. "Shakespeare in love" doesn't deserve more than 2 stars and a half because it does not make the watcher feel like international William's characters. If you want to know something about Shakespeare, please, go to a library and read a random book... It'll be better than this trash in any case.
½ April 22, 2018
write me well..

Shakespeare In Love

The first act takes its time to settle in with the audience and basically just works as an introduction and then the scrutiny begins when the plot thickens and politics kicks in its second act that lures the audience hoping for something majestic but instead disappoints them utterly in its last act that is loosely scattered onto the script. John Madden is not in its A game which is visible from the first frame as it fails to create the anticipated impact on screen. Joseph Fiennes still needs a lot of work to do on its acting skills for all the work in here is carried by Gwyneth Paltrow who is mesmerizing in her act. Shakespeare In Love never had the script or concept to bedazzle the audience and accounting in the poor execution on its part, the feature delivers a far fetched vision that never comes close.
April 15, 2018
4/7/18 This is a pretty classic movie, so I wanted to see it again. It was surprising how well I remembered most of it. A good film that keeps a good pace.
April 14, 2018
A big cast in a delightfully light and funny period movie about one of the most famous tales ever told.
February 11, 2018
Nice movie, my intro to the brother of Ralph Fiennes
February 8, 2018
(5.0 out of 6)- Love brings time together
When we see what places those go when their time is up. When we see what places those go when they lose track of time in love. When we see those time in such places is now when people can't resist not seeing when they have to show. When we see what places those go when everything doesn't workout when such times calls for entertainment when death is certain. When we see what time brings to those when they prefer to go place to place with others more wealthy.

When we see what places we have little time to prepare we make place for those to tryout. When some places we can't of when time is runs out we see others give us time in what we should write. When we see what time shall bring in those places meant for other places to find the perfect person to fit such places. When such places in time can only be felt by those in other places when such emotions intersect. When what little time we have left to chase those in far & high places when they are our star. When what late hour time those reach such places we see what places they value when it's there's in high places. When what brings us to such high places are those beauty that no value could replace those in what we seek in time. When what high places those take us, we see we lose all meaning of time when we complete our work in a matter of time. When what places we reach when time doesn't matter we see high places to only fall back to low places. When we see what time it is to give away, to take such places beside those when the time is right. When what new places those replace old places we see what time can bring good fortune for those and misfortune for others when being in high and low places is common.

When we see taking places comes easy when we are disguised over the time. When what places others don't care for or places we wish not to go we see what place we are in when time threatens to enslave us with grief. When we see what place and time we are bound to we must abandon other places and time. When placings and perfect timings are what's needed when everything must be as we see such places and times.

When what place and time we wish to be beside we don't see what we feel when such different places holds the same places those described. When we are blinded by our vision of those who we place in such continuous time to not see what is in front of us is there in disguise.

When we see what places those were in when they were in love with those whom they based such places on, to write from such places within with whom we share a love with.
When we see what places others rather get into when it's places of love's quarrel that we settle things out like men and dual. When such places we come in and out from we see what places we rather leave out. When what places are filled with what's in are those of repute when they are willing to put out for those in love. When what place we try to disguise ourselves we see what quarrels we crossed others into when what taken out are those misrepresented identity that gets them killed. When we see what place others hold for us and what place should have been ourselves to be in we see what we no longer can live with when we are responsible for those going out and murdering. When what we see we replace when loving places are now darker places we live with it when we can't go into other places no longer to live out our life in darkness for eternity. When what place we make place for loves quarrel, we see what needs to take place in our play when others live out places they no longer can go to accept death. When what place others have no room for we make place in what others can't get into to get the word out of those mishandlings.

When we see that what place we were not responsible for we see what places we get back into and leave out. When what place is no longer welcome in we see ourselves out when such places accepts the integrity of such places to bring in when such honest words need to come out. When such places have large turn outs when what new places those go into others must go into aswell. When what place others can't replace are words and emotions that are explored together that takes others places that only love can take us in and out of. When what places a man or woman take place in either role we see what love comes out of all of us when such feeling has no body when the word itself is enough to take us places.

When what place we take to be seen we show what comes from within and out what we need to bring in and out more places when we don't need to quarrel for what we love when we all can learn from Romeo & Juliet's recourse that we don't need to resort to bitter misfortunes.
February 7, 2018
a brilliant screenplay helped me overcome the travesty that this beat private ryan for best picture
December 27, 2017
Oscar winner worthy with Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes. Geoffrey Rush is always good as is Judi Dench. Also Ben Affleck, Tom Wildinson and Rupert Everett.
December 18, 2017
Puntaje Original: 6.5

Imagina la tortura que puede significar este film para alguien que detesta la poesa.
½ November 17, 2017
it's a treat for any cinephile
½ November 6, 2017
Simply put, this is a fun film that never lacks for comedy. Everyone in this film portrays their parts with elegance. And as if to top the entire film off, Dame Judi Dench plays a rather fantastically entertaining Queen Elizabeth I.
October 29, 2017
This is so credible to William Shakespeare from nearly every frame!
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