Every once in a while the Academy gets it right: Shakespeare in Love is one of the most beautiful and lovely pictures ever made. It’s also one of the most thoroughly vetted, so there’s little I can add to existing comment. Joe Morgenstern of the WSJ nails it:
As “Shakespeare in Love” unfolds, though, we see beyond the performances to how ambitious the whole undertaking really is, and how marvelously well the writers and director have pulled it off. Through the medium of movies they’ve reconnected us to the magic of theater. Scene after scene engages us as cheerful groundlings, tosses us jokes, toys with our expectations, then sweeps away the boundaries between film and stage, comedy and tragedy — a death scene, for instance, played almost simultaneously for laughs and tears — so we’re open to the power of language and the feelings behind it. I wasn’t just open, I was swept off my seat.
The only thing I’ll add is that the ending is among the greatest, most beautiful and emotionally urgent endings in the history of cinema.
Availability: iTunes, Netflix