Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Shakespeare in Love

Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is at a personal and professional impasse: his theater owner (Geoffrey Rush) is heavily indebted, his girlfriend is having an affair with his benefactor, audiences much prefer the work of his adversary Christopher Marlowe (Rupert Everett), and he is having the damnedest time completing his latest play, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. After casting the lead actor and discovering he is actually a beautiful and restless society girl (Gwyneth Paltrow) in disguise, he finds his true love and the inspiration for his best known work. John Madden's "Shakespeare in Love", written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard, is a delightful concoction, purported to be more fancy than fact, that nonetheless tells a sunny, intriguing, and exceedingly well made story. Fiennes delivers a finely tuned comic performance and Paltrow is enchanting in the role that garnered her an Oscar. Supporters aid the proceedings greatly, and the standouts are the obvious ones, namely Rush, Tom Wilkinson as his creditor with a secret desire to be on the stage, and Judi Dench who, though only appearing briefly as Queen Elizabeth I, also garnered an Academy Award for her performance.