Today, we’re going to be talking about William Shakespeare. Yeah, I know some of you look forward to this about as much as you look forward to root canal work.
– A quote from Dead Poets Society
At some point during the childhood or teenage years of many humans, they are taught to fear Shakespeare. They are taught that it is difficult to study and that they will hate it. When the time comes to study it in school unless they have an amazing teacher they probably will hate it.
If they are lucky as I was, their school has an excellent drama department with a drama teacher who inspires their students and loves Shakespeare. That teacher will teach them to love words and to savor Shakespeare like they would savor good Lindt chocolate.
But now, they might be lucky enough – at an appropriate age because this movie does contain some quite saucy love scenes – to have a teacher or a parent who shows them the movie Shakespeare In Love.
Many of the works of William Shakespeare had been recreated on both television and in movies but this movie is unique because it is a fictional version of the life of Shakespeare himself. Fortunately when they did decide to tackle it they made it a comedy. What a comedy it is, too! If you have not seen it, you must. So why do I love this movie so much? I could sit here and write reasons why all day long, but here are the top 5.
5. The costumes.
4. Dame Judi Dench.
If she is in a movie you know it is going to be incredible. The costumes she had to wear were huge and heavy as you can see above. Her portrayal of Elizabeth was exactly perfect.
3. Colin Firth.
Everyone loves Colin Firth, right? Well I do anyway. I think this is one of his best performances. You can tell he is enjoying it. Usually he plays the opposite kinds of roles to this.
2. Gwyneth Paltrow.
She pulls off quite an acting feat in this movie. I don’t want to spoil the story in case you haven’t seen it but let me put it this way. In the movie she plays more than one character. One of the characters has long hair extensions. The other character could not be played with the long hair extensions. She spent a lot of time in the hairdressing chair and on average it was 2.5 hours each time they had to put the extensions in. And gentlemen, you get to see her half naked. She said in the commentary track that she wanted the love scenes to be realistic rather than being worried about covering herself up. On top of all that, she’s speaking in an English accent.
1. Joseph Fiennes.
He is the brother of Raiph Fiennes – and note that is spelt Raiph and pronounced Rafe and not Ralph – who is a very well known actor. Joseph is amazing. I could not imagine anyone else playing this role. He has the most gorgeous big brown eyes. He was also in another of my favourite movies – Elizabeth with Cate Blanchett.
Other Good Things
Geoffrey Rush is in the movie and his character is hilarious. Normally I can’t stand Ben Affleck but he appears in this movie and I actually quite liked him in this role. The DVD version I have includes two commentary tracks, one with the director and one with the cast and crew. Both are very interesting.
In Conclusion –
This movie deserves to be seen and savored. It deserves a home on your DVD shelf. Excellent acting, gorgeous and stunning and sparkly costumes and plenty of Shakespeare. It is the only movie that I own both on video and DVD. It was also the first movie The Other Half and I ever saw together. Now The Other Half is not into most of the same kinds of movies that I am – he is more an action or science fiction fan. He loved this movie as much as I did. It’s not just a chick flick. ;)
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