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And We're in Love With Shakespeare, Too

Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush and the gang haven't just created a wonderfully fun and romantic film with Shakespeare in Love. They've also given a boost to the whole idea of Shakespeare on the screen.

We're thrilled, and to celebrate, we're happy to bring you seven examples of the Bard in film.

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ran85.jpg (4470 bytes)Blending King Lear with an ancient samurai legend, Akira Kurosawa tells the story of a king too proud and arrogant to believe his children could deceive him. A feast of colours, sounds and images, this is a great cinematic experience.

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Othello (1995)n_85.gif (1270 bytes)

Shakespeare’s play is brought to the screen again with excellent performances by Laurence Fishburne, Irene Jacob and Kenneth Branagh. Purists might find fault, and car chase fans will be disinterested, but it’s a good choice for the rest of us.

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Twelfth Night n_82.gif (1270 bytes)

Shakespeare’s comedy of mistaken identity and disguise tempers the laughter with melancholy in this well-crafted and handsome production. This accessible and entertaining film is intelligently directed by Trevor Nunn and highlighted by some excellent performances by a terrific cast.

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Romeo + Juliet (1996)n_71.gif (1270 bytes)

This MTV-style interpretation of Shakespeare's classic love story has an audacious opening sequence, but the surfer dude accents strip much of the language of its majesty. This movie is beautiful to the eye but hard on the ears.

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Hamlet (1996)n_88.gif (1270 bytes)

Shakespeare's most famous play is given the royal treatment at the hands of a master-interpreter. Branagh's now definitive unabridged four-hour Hamlet gives us a Shakespearean film as beautiful to see, as it is to hear. A must-see for all Bard-philes.

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A Midwinter's Talen_82.gif (1270 bytes)

Kenneth Branagh stays behind the scenes in this minor masterpiece, a beautiful, unpretentious black and white comic exploration of desperate down-and-out actors attempting to stage Hamlet in a gloomy cathedral at Christmas time. Much funnier than it sounds.

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Macbethn_80.gif (1270 bytes)

macbet71.jpg (5358 bytes)Polanski's potent interpretation of Shakespeare's Macbeth is rich in period detail, while entirely modern in its nihilism and cynicism. The only weakness is an oddly softened portrayal of Lady Macbeth, who lacks the requisite cruelty and single-mindedness.

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