Romeo & Juliet: Film Review

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Admission: the only (and I mean only) reason I dared to sneak in a viewing of this movie was because it claims to be adapted by Julian Fellowes, Academy Award-winning writer of Gosford Park and acclaimed creator of Downton Abbey (perhaps my favorite show). Alas, it all sounds very well and Shakespearean, but it doesn’t do much to improve upon any of the umpteen earlier film adaptations of Romeo & Juliet, and it certainly fails to come anywhere near the source material (literary purists, that was for you).

In short, this is basically Shakespeare for the Twilight generation, though it’s considerably smarter than anything about vampires and their whiny mortal girlfriends; but it never scratches beneath its flawless presented surface, and the almost-still quality of the leads’ performances certainly don’t help. A pretty costume drama with a British accent – and nothing more.