"Shakespeare In Love" Is Released

Shakespeare in Love is a 1998 romantic comedy film.

The film was directed by John Madden and written by Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard. Stoppard's first major success was with the Shakespeare-influenced play Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

The film is largely fictional, although several of the characters are based on real people. In addition, many of the characters, lines, and plot devices are references to Shakespeare's plays.

Shakespeare in Love won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (for Gwyneth Paltrow) and Best Supporting Actress (for Judi Dench). It was the first comedy to win the Best Picture award since Annie Hall (1977).

A witty, sexy and merrily literate delight, with an exhilaratingly clever premise that only gets better as the film unfolds. The screenplay, originating as Marc Norman's brainstorm and turned by Tom Stoppard into razor-sharp dialogue reminiscent of his "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead," dares to imagine whatever it likes about the link between Shakespeare's artistic passions and his mad yearning for a certain aristocratic beauty. Meanwhile, this tirelessly inventive comedy envisions an Elizabethan theater fraught with the same backbiting and conniving we enjoy today and has great fun presenting the creation of "Romeo and Juliet," glitches and all. Ralph Fiennes and Gwyneth Paltrow make a fine, tempestuous duo, and she gives the first great, fully realized starring performance of her career. — Janet Maslin, The New York Times