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Shakespeare in Love

Young Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is forced to stage his latest comedy, "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter," before it's even written. When a lovely noblewoman (Gwyneth Paltrow) auditions for a role, they fall into forbidden love -- and his play finds a new life (and title). As their relationship progresses, Shakespeare's comedy soon transforms into tragedy. This bittersweet romance won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress.
Netflix Rating: 3.7
NYT Critics' Pick
Young Will Shakespeare meets Viola and gets his creativity back. Rollicking, passionate and exhilaratingly clever. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes: Fresh 93%
Critics' score: 93   Audience score: 76   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

Accessible, entertaining and fun for modern audiences. Exquisitely acted, tightly directed and impressively assembled, this lively period piece is the kind of arty gem with potentially broad appeal that Miramax certainly knows how to sell. full review

Lael Loewenstein, Variety

It's easy to suspend disbelief and embrace this historically creative fiction, whose clever relationship to what's known and what's unresolved is part of what makes it so intriguing and so romantic. full review

Lisa Alspector, Chicago Reader

It's a literary burlesque, remarkably clever and quick on its feet. It is ardently romantic but is at its best when it is funny. And it's funny. full review

Jeff Millar, Houston Chronicle

Seems the Bard is badly blocked. full review

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

A happy conceit smoothly executed, this is one of those entertaining confections that's so pleasing to the eye and ear you'd have to be a genuine Scrooge to struggle against it. full review

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

A smart, rollicking romantic comedy that strikes a rare pitch comprising witty wordplay, bawdy fun, and passionate romance.

Eleonore Snow, Mr. Showbiz

The costumes delight, the period evocation in the scenery and photography is rich and pleasing, and the cutting keeps the pace racing forward.

Norman Green, Film.com

Prepare to be ravished!

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

With glittering shows of erudition and playfulness, Shakespeare in Love mixes history, fiction, comedy and romance to create a pure joy of a movie! full review

Susan Stark, Detroit News

The cast is near perfect. full review

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle

This is a movie full of moments, and performances, to savor. full review

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Paltrow and Fiennes make an irresistible team. full review

Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee

Clever, exhilarating, ingenious. full review

Janet Maslin, New York Times

I was carried along by the wit, the energy and a surprising sweetness. full review

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

A rollicking good time, full of genuine emotional pull and incandescent acting, and anchored by a passionate love for the theater itself which puts most human liaisons--including Shakespeare and Viola's -- to shame.

Gemma Files, Film.com

Occasionally profound and frequently hilarious!

Peter Brunette, Film.com

Result resembles one of Neil Simon's middlebrow romps more than it does As You Like It. full review

Laura Miller, Salon.com

Shakespeare in Love is not a great film, but it's an excuse to have an evening of pure enjoyment with a little culture painlessly mixed in. full review

James Berardinelli, ReelViews

Let the kids toy with their Rugrats and hold their Sandler high. Shakespeare in Love is a movie to please the rest of us.

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine

Like some of Shakespeare's own, unclassifiable plays that bounce between comedy and tragedy, it's a wonderful mess.

Steve Murray, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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