Shakespeare in LoveJanuary 8, 1999
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.
Release Year: 1998
Rating: 7.3/10 (98,184 voted)
Critic's Score: 87/100
Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush
Will Shakespeare is a known but struggling poet, playwright and actor who not only has sold his next play to both Philip Henslow and Richard Burbidge but now faces a far more difficult problem: he is bereft of ideas and has yet to begin writing. He is in search of his muse, the woman who will inspire him but all attempts fail him until he meets the beautiful Viola de Lesseps. She loves the theatre and would like nothing more than to take to the stage but is forbidden from doing so as only men can be actors. She is also a great admirer of Shakespeare's works. Dressing as a man and going by the name of Thomas Kent, she auditions and is ideal for a part in his next play. Shakespeare soon see through her disguise and they begin a love affair, one they know cannot end happily for them as he is already married and she has been promised to the dour Lord Wessex. As the company rehearses his new play…
Writers: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard
(as Tim McMullen)
Makepeace – the Preacher
Tilney – Master of the Revels
Lady in Waiting
(as Bridget McConnel)
Lady in Waiting
…A Comedy About the Greatest Love Story Almost Never Told…
Miramax Films [United States] cast, music, multimedia |
Release Date: 8 January 1999
Filming Locations: Barnes, London, England, UK
Box Office Details
Opening Weekend: $224,012
(13 December 1998)
(25 July 1999)
Did You Know?
Will is shown signing a paper, with six illegible signatures visible. Several versions of Shakespeare's signature exist, all of which are different. This has led to debate about whether William Shakespeare may actually have been illiterate.
When Romeo drinks the poison, he first opens the bottle, says what he has to say and in the next shot he opens the bottle again before he drinks the stuff.
[screams in pain]
Henslowe! Do you know what happens to a man who doesn't pay his debts? His boots catch fire!
Why do you howl when it is I who am bitten?
Shakespeare would be proud
I went to see this movie not knowing what to expect. On the one hand, I
was excited, because you see, I am an English major and here was this movie
based on the life of William Shakespeare. In the realm of Shakespeare
rip-offs (i.e., "Romeo & Juliet," "Macbeth," etc..)"Shakespeare in Love"
clearly stood out. This is the first film I've seen based on the author,
rather than his work. And it was a refreshing change from watching the
pompous over-fed Hollywood egoes trying to pass themselves off as true
At the same time, however, the casting had me a bit nervous. I had not
seen Joseph Fiennes work, but I had high hopes since his brother is, in my
opinion, a brilliant actor. I liked Gwyneth Paltrow in "Emma" and "Sliding
Doors," but I was wary to see how she would pull this one off. And as for
Ben Affleck.. well, I was truly afraid he would flop. I saw him in
"Armageddon" and immediately racked him up on the list of other such
forgettable actors as .. well never mind. The point is, I was afraid he
would make a laughing-stock of this movie. As for the other actors,I did not
recognize any one else except Judi Dench, and I figured hers was a bit role,
nothing that could affect this movie much.
I was wrong on almost all counts. Gwyneth Paltrow was so radiant in this
movie, she fairly set the screen ablaze. I never knew she had such range. I
had not expected such fire in her, I always thought she was a rather calm
actress, incapable of such passions. Joseph Fiennes amazed me far more than
his brother in that he knows how to balance wit and passion, joy and sorrow
gracefully, even more so than Ralph. Together, these two actors did more
than carry off the film; they raised it up to levels higher than any other
actors I've seen in a very long time. Judi Dench may have had a bit role,
but she managed to make a lot out of it. She played Queen Elizabeth with
more majesty and grace than any other Queen-playing actress I've seen. (I've
yet to see Cate Blansett in the movie "Elizabeth.")But the true darkhorse of
this movie is Ben Affleck. My God, he has a sense of humor! I never
imagined. "Armageddon" didn't give him much space to roam in, but in this
film he was all over the place. Had he not been flanked by such worthy
thespians, he just might have stolen the show.
The actors could not have done such marvelous work had it not been, of
course, for the writing. The play flows smoothly, with nary a glitch in
sight. This is note-worthy, for it is well over 100 minutes. It is written
in a style that is at once clever and grave, passionate and dry. Love is one
of the most abused notions on the screen today. It is rare to see a movie
portray Love with as much originality and truth as this film has
accomplished. Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay this movie I already
did on Christmas night, when I went to go see this film. As the movie ended
and the actors' names scrolled up on the screen, tears trickled down my
cheeks. I must say it is not often a movie makes me cry. And don't
underestimate me just because I am a girl and because I may be more
sensitive because you see, my boyfriend left the theater with suspiciously
bright eyes as well..