A Midsummer Night's DreamMay 14, 1999
Lovers lives are complicated by city law, feuding faerie royalty, and… love.
Release Year: 1999
Rating: 6.3/10 (13,344 voted)
Critic's Score: 61/100
Stars: Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett
Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start–Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.
Writers: William Shakespeare, Michael Hoffman
Hold on to Your Heart. Cupid is Armed and Dangerous.
Release Date: 14 May 1999
Filming Locations: Caprarola, Viterbo, Lazio, Italy
Opening Weekend: $4,285,620
(16 May 1999)
(29 August 1999)
Did You Know?
Some of the orchestral score is from Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy's 1843 incidental music for the play. It has also been used in Frederick Ashton's 1964 ballet adaptation of the play, "The Dream", and in George Balanchine's ballet version of the play. The 1935 film version of Shakespeare's play also used generous chunks of Mendelssohn's music.
In the play within a play scene, Bottom alternates between wearing and not wearing leggings.
Bottom the Weaver:
Since lion vile hath here deflowered my dear…
One Movie Buff's Opinion
I have seen criticism of this movie saying that the language should
have been changed to our post-modern English instead of being the
original late-middle/early modern English that Shakespeare used. But
those who say that miss the point that what makes these plays so
magnificent IS the language that Shakespeare used, and to change it
would be to ruin the movie.
Anyways, the acting is marvelous, as it should be from such a cast as
this. Michelle Pfeiffer plays the part of Titania with the utmost
perfection. Kevin Kline as Nick Bottom is equally as good, and the two
end up having a chemistry that is unmistakable (even if he is an ass at
The directing is also great – almost as good as the acting, if not as
good. Costumes, sets, everything with exception of there being
headlights on the bicycles, is perfect. Michael Hoffman truly pulled of
a great feat with this movie, and I would recommend it to anyone.
Also, on a side note, if you have trouble understanding the language,
though it be English, watch the DVD and turn on the subtext.