Wednesday, February 10, 2010

2010 Shakespeare Film Festival

1. Baz Luhrmann's "Romeo + Juliet"

EG - *gasp* Leo! That having been said, this movie is a'ight. Claire Danes glows. She fucking glows! And the gas station scene is the coolest John Leguizamo will ever be. A lot of the adaptation is inspired, but this ain't Bill's best work. I buy that two kids can be that stupid, but to sell it as the love story of all time is pushing it. I have seen Adam Sandler movies that are more romantic.

All that aside, you will never get a Shakespeare movie with a better soundtrack. Having two Radiohead songs prominently featured and the source of a great track by Garbage is more than any score could hope.

I give it 3 Yoricks (on a scale of 5.)

Red - All through my teens and most of my twenties, I couldn't get into this play. I just didn't buy it. That was probably due in large measure to my never having been in love, not the requited kind anyway. The first time I saw a production of this play that I really liked, I was in my late twenties, in my last semester of grad school, and head over heels in love with EG. It was directed, I think, by this guy I had worked with my first semester of grad school and it really captured that crazy, head-over-heels first love feeling. Baz Luhrman did, too.

I agree that the soundtrack is damn good, but I'd give Des'ree more props for the love theme than I'd give Thom Yorke for this particular project. But what made this piece for me was the casting. Clair and Leo were excellent choices, but probably my favorite bit of casting was Brian Dennehy and Paul Sorvino as Montague and Capulet. Also loved Paul Rudd as Paris and Jesse Bradford in his bit part as Balthasar. John Leguizamo was very good as Tybalt, but I find Tybalt a pretty one dimensional, unlikeable character.

I also loved the use of water throughout the piece - when R&J meet looking at each other from either side of an aquarium, when they make out in the pool during the balcony scene, and I'm pretty sure there's more stuff that I'm not remembering. I was never really interested in seeing this, but now that I have, I'm glad I did.

Also, during the party scene where Mercutio is dancing in his drag outfit and others are dancing around him and it's all shiny, I said to EG, "Is Baz Luhrman gay?" To which he replied, "No, but he is European*."

I give it 3 1/2 Yoricks.

*Oops! He is Australian. I always assumed he was Belgian or some such nonsense. Aussie seems almost normal.


red said...

Yeah, Baz Luhrmann is Australian. And he's made 3 of the gayest movies ever and had a dance hit about sunscreen. Makes ya wonder, eh?

I didn't love this movie as much as everyone else when I saw it in the theater. I wasn't ready for the Bard/modern spin mash-up thing. I need to rewatch it, obvs.

SkylersDad said...

I love that you are rating with Yoricks!