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Shakespeare in Love VHS
Triumphant winner of 7 Academy Awards(R) -- including Best Picture -- this witty, sexy smash features Oscar(R)-winning Best Actress Gwyneth Paltrow (SLIDING DOORS, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) and an amazing cast that includes Academy Award-winners Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress), Geoffrey Rush (Best Actor -- SHINE), and Ben Affleck (GOOD WILL HUNTING, PEARL HARBOR). When Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes -- ELIZABETH) needs passionate inspiration to break a bad case of writer's block, a secret romance with the beautiful Lady Viola (Paltrow) starts the words flowing like never before! There are just two things he'll have to learn about his new love: not only is she promised to marry someone else, but she's successfully impersonating a man in order to play the lead in Will's latest production! A truly can't-miss motion picture event with outstanding critical acclaim to match its impressive collection of major awards -- everyone will love this funny behind-the-scenes look at the writing of the greatest love story ever told!
One of the most endearing and intelligent romantic comedies of the '90s, the Oscar-winning Shakespeare in Love is filled with such good will, sunny romance, snappy one-liners, and devilish cleverness that it's absolutely irresistible. With tongue placed firmly in cheek, at its outset the film tracks young Will Shakespeare's overwrought battle with writer's block and the efforts of theater owner Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush, in rare form) to stage Will's latest comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. Jokey comedy, though, soon takes a backseat to ravishing romance when the beautiful Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow) disguises herself as a young man to wangle herself an audition in the all-male cast, and wins both the part of Romeo and, after much misunderstanding, the playwright's heart. Soon enough, Will's pirate comedy becomes the beautiful, tragic Romeo and Juliet, reflecting the agony and ecstasy of Will and Viola's romance--he's married and she's set to marry the slimy Lord Wessex (Colin Firth) in the near future.
The way that Oscar-winning screenwriters Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard enfold their story within the parameters of Romeo and Juliet (and even Twelfth Night) is nothing short of brilliant--it would take a Shakespearean scholar to dissect the innumerable parallels, oft-quoted lines, plot developments, and thematic borrowings. And most amazingly, Norman and Stoppard haven't forgotten to entertain their audience in addition to riding a Shakespearean roller coaster, with director John Madden (Mrs. Brown) reigning in his huge ensemble with rollicking energy. Along the way there are small gems to be found, including Judi Dench's eight-minute, Oscar-winning turn as a truly regal Queen Elizabeth, but the key element of Shakespeare in Love's success rests on the milky-white shoulders of its two stars. Fiennes, inexplicably overlooked at Oscar time, is a dashing, heartfelt Will, and as for Best Actress winner Paltrow, well, nothing she'd done before could have prepared viewers for how amazing she is here. Breathtakingly beautiful, fiercely intelligent, strong-willed, and lovestruck--it's a performance worthy of Shakespeare in more ways than one. By the film's end, you'll be thoroughly won over--and brushing up your Shakespeare with newfound ardor. --Mark Englehart
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William is struggling to complete his next comedy, "Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter" to fulfill a promise to theater owner Philip Henslowe (portrayed with the perfect combination of panic and resignation by Geoffrey Rush). One night, William sneaks in to a party with friends and meets the daughter of the house, Viola de Lesseps and falls in love with her from across the room. Further complicating matters, Lady Viola, tired of the constrictions of being a woman, binds her breasts and appears at auditions for "Romeo and Ethel," presenting herself as the son of a servant in the household and taking messages from Shakespeare to her "mistress."
The all-star cast includes Dame Judi Dench as Queen Elizabeth, quintessential nice guy Colin Firth as Viola's betrothed, the unlikeable Lord Wessex, Ben Affleck as actor Ned Alleyn, and "Harry Potter"'s Imelda Staunton as the Nurse. Look quick and you can even catch sight of John Inman from "Are You Being Served."
the man (if he even existed.) So I guess my un-thought out assumption about him is that he was born a frumpy, bookish, middle-aged man who
sequestered himself away and somehow created those stories and wonderful words out of a vacuum. But "Shakespeare in Love" brings the man
to life as a handsome rogue and ladies' man who lives very much in the world and finds inspiration wherever he can (including from fellow authors).
We can never know Shakespeare's true life story, but this film truly breathes life into the character with the help of a superb cast. The movie does
for "The Bard" what "Amadeus" did for Mozart.
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