February 13, 2010

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996)

It's not the anachronism that spoils Baz Luhrman's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet but the casting of actors that don't understand the cadence of Elizabethan English - and this includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes as the star-crossed lovers. Miriam Margolyes as the nurse, Pete Postlethwaite as the priest, and Brian Dennehy as Ted Montague fair best (with a nod to whipper-snapper John Leguizamo as Tybalt) but the film might have been more palletable had Luhrman used modern English or cast actors that have experience speaking Shakespeare's words. It's not a tragedy but it is not a very engrossing watch.

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