To Be or Not to Be…

That is the question. Wheather Shakespeare in Love deserved to win Best Picture or not. Shakespeare in Love is a movie I was always curious about. I haven’t seen Saving Private Ryan yet, but I am still surprised that it won Best Picture. Shakespeare in Love is essentially a romantic comedy. Something that almost never wins big awards. However, Shakespeare in Love does have witty dialogue, impressive costumes, serviceable performances, and an interesting premise. We all know about Romeo and Juliet, but do we know William Shakespeare and his love life. Since I’ve studied theatre, I know an awful lot about its history. Back in the 16th century, women actually weren’t allowed to perform in plays. Instead they would have young men perform in all the female parts. That’s something they cover in the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow’s character disguising herself as a man. She becomes Shakespeare’s lover and muse, inspiring he to rework Romeo and Juliet. So that’s everything that works about Shakespeare in Love. What doesn’t work is the fact that the movie might have been overpraised. As I’ve previously stated, this is the movie that beat Saving Private Ryan by winning Best Picture. It’s good, but Best Picture? Some people also claim that Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t deserve to win Best Actress and the same with Judi Dench winning Best Supporting Actress. Judi Dench plays Queen Elizabeth I, and only appears on screen for 8 minutes! Which leads to the discussion of whether a Best Picture winner actually deserves to win all its major awards. Shakespeare in Love has an interesting reputation, but it is worth watching.

William Shakespeare (right) performs with Viola de Lesseps (left)

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