Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Happy Birthday to William Shakespeare

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with some of the many, many movie versions of, about, or inspired by his plays.  Coming up this spring is the “Much Ado About Nothing” in a contemporary setting — it was filmed at director Joss Whedon’s home, in black and white, starring Nathan Fillion (“Castle,” “Firefly”) and Clark Gregg (“The Avengers”).  Compare it to the Kenneth Branagh version with Emma Thompson, Denzel Washington, Kate Beckinsale, and Michael Keaton.

YouTube Preview Image

Here are some of my other favorites:

1. The Taming of the Shrew Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton bring their legendary combustible chemistry to this rambunctious version of Shakespeare’s most famous battle of the sexes.  For an extra treat, pair it with the Cole Porter musical it inspired, Kiss Me Kate.

YouTube Preview Image

2. Romeo + Juliet Baz Lurhmann’s dazzling version of one of the world’s great tragic love stories is a treat for the eyes, ears, and soul.  For an extra treat, pair it with the more traditional version directed by Franco Zeffirelli.

YouTube Preview Image

3.  Shakespeare In Love This best-picture and best-actress Oscar winner is a highly fictionalized account of the writing of “Romeo and Juliet,” with the magnificent Judi Dench, who also won an Oscar as Queen Elizabeth and a brilliantly witty script by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.  For an extra treat, try to catch a performance of  A Cry of Players, a play about the young Shakespeare by the author of “The Miracle Worker.”

YouTube Preview Image

4. Henry V There is the thrill of the St. Crispian’s Day speech.  There is the heart-wrenching parting with the old friends who cannot be a part of the young king’s new life.  But for me, the greatness of this play is that in the midst of all of the drama, Shakespeare inserts a scene of a young French princess trying to learn English so she can understand the man who is walloping her countrymen — and makes it work.  For an extra treat, compare it to the Laurence Olivier version, very much the product of its WWII era.

YouTube Preview Image

5. The Tempest My own favorite of Shakespeare’s plays is thrilling with Helen Mirren as Prospera, a wizard who calls on all her powers of enchantment to provide a happy ending for her daughter and justice for herself.  For an extra treat, try the space-age adaptation,  Forbidden Planet.

YouTube Preview Image


Previous Posts

Tribute: Leonard Nimoy
We mourn the loss of Leonard Nimoy, who created one of the most iconic characters of all time, "Star Trek's" half-Vulcan, half-human Mr. Spock, with pointed ears and angled eyebrows perfectly designed to convey a wry sense of irony.  The storylines of the original "Star Trek" were provocative polit

posted 12:00:09pm Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

New from Daniele Watts: Muted
Actress Daniele Watts stars as missing teenager Crystal Gladwell in Muted, winner of the 18th annual American Black Film Festival short film competition, showing on HBO throughout March 2015. Muted fol

posted 8:00:46am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: Uptown Funk from Alex Boye and the Dancing Grannies
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rjRlJvOxIY0?rel=0" frameborder="0"] "Uptown Funk," from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, is covered in a sensational new video from longtime Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Alex Boyé and back-up performers ranging in age from 65-92.

posted 9:16:46am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Like Sunday, Like Rain with Debra Messing and Leighton Meester
[iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/B28IHhaQXCE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:29am Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters
In honor of this week's release of "Focus," here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that "con" comes from "confidence." A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in their schemes. And cons make great movies. If you haven't seen these, crank

posted 3:45:21pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.