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

Wrong About Critics, Wrong About Movies, Wrong About Faith
I am not going to give the people behind the idiotic and offensive press release I recently received the recognition of identifying them by name, but the claim that they make is one I have heard often enough I need to respond. The headline: Film Critics Don't Get Faith Films. This is idiotic and off

posted 2:36:30pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Disney Announced a New Animated Film for 2016: Moana
Entertainment Weekly reports that Disney has announced a new animated feature to be released in 2016: "Moana," with a Polynesian heroine in search of a fabled island. With Disney greats Ron Clements

posted 1:59:28pm Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Manners at the Movie Theater
Here's a cute reminder on movie theater manners. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/Dz5Qwd93VpE?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 8:00:38am Oct. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Ted Melfi of "St. Vincent"
Writer/director Ted Melfi got Bill Murray to appear in his first film by calling him. Murray does not have an agent or a manager. He has an 800 number. And Melfi left message after message until Murray finally called back and asked Melfi to pick him up at the airport. Apparently his pitch skills (an

posted 12:55:48pm Oct. 19, 2014 | read full post »

What Do Critics Think About Watching Film That Is Not What the Makers Intended?
Thanks to Indiewire for including me in their survey of critics about how important it is to watch a movie as it was filmed. If it was made on film stock, is it unfair to the artists' vision to watch a digital version? Here was my answer: [caption id="attachment_30587" align="alignright" widt

posted 8:00:39am Oct. 19, 2014 | 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.