setting is London in the summer of 1593, where a struggling
playwright, known as William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes),
seems to have developed a severe case of writers block
over his latest piece of work. This is primarily due to
guilt over his failed marriage and the lack of a meaningful,
captivating female companionship. It isn't until he gets
caught up in a meaningful, and intense love affair, with
the lovely Viola De Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), that he
has the quill flowing again.
Fennyman at the beginning of the story has little respect
for actors and play writers. After firmly being put in
his place by, well-known actor, (Ned Alleyn Ben Afflick's
character), he begins to grow in his appreciation of Shakespeare's
new play as he sits in on the rehearsals and develops
a new respect in awe of the art form. He is thrilled and
excited to be given the part of the druggist, who gives
the poison to the character, Romeo. He enthusiastically
and earnestly goes about learning his lines, oblivious
to all that is happening around him.
the plot thickens. We soon discover that his beloved Viola,
is actually none other than the talented thespian, Master
Thomas Kent, who auditioned for and won the role of Romeo,
in Shakespeare's play. That wouldn't be so bad except
for the fact that she's a lady (Paltrow) portraying a
man. In those times women weren't allowed to participate
in such disgraceful activities as theatre. It was custom
that only men were hired as actors and the played both
the male and the female parts of a play.
of the best scenes by far were the rehearsal scenes, and
then the actual performance of the play. Also worthy of
note are the scenes with the Queen Elizabeth, played by
the wonderful Judi Dench, who won the best supporting
actress award for her performance in this film.
In Love" is a fun and witty, yet dramatic film, that gets
five stars from just about everybody.
direction by John Madden, the wonderful screenplay by
Mard Norman and Tom Stoppard, and the inspired cast all
work together to produce a very entertaining 'dramedy'.
chemistry is great amongst the actors, especially Paltrow
and Fiennes, who really play well off each other's performances,
and really carry the script to the height envisioned by
the screenwriters, Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.
Paltrow won the Oscar for best actress for her grace and
finesse with this challenging transgendered role.
Rush's performance, as Phillip Henslowe, the long suffering
theater owner who had hired Shakespeare to write a play,
earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
Girth, as the Lord of Wessex (Viola's "husband-to-be"),
isn't bad either. He does well as the big, chauvinist
jerk, who her father, Sir Robert de Lesseps (Nicholas
Le Prevost), has picked for her to wed.
Wilkinson, as the play financier, Hugh Fennyman, does
an excellent job showing the personal growth of his character.