Bil’s rating (out of 5): B.5.
Italy/United Kingdom/USA, 1999. Fox Searchlight Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Taurus Film, Panoramica. Screenplay by Michael Hoffman, based on the play by William Shakespeare. Cinematography by Oliver Stapleton. Produced by Michael Hoffman, Leslie Urdang. Music by Simon Boswell. Production Design by Luciana Arrighi. Costume Design by Gabriella Pescucci. Film Editing by Garth Craven.
Uneven adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic fantasy play that will seem choppy and badly edited even to those completely unfamiliar with the original. Director Michael Lehmann has eliminated so much of Shakepeare’s original plot that no character stands out (Puck, for instance, is rendered a sideline character who occasionally pops up) and by its conclusion you are left feeling like you haven’t gone anywhere at all. All the actors involved, from Rupert Everett and Michelle Pfeiffer‘s bickering fairy monarchs to Calista Flockhart and Christian Bale as bickering lovers, are well cast and perform beautifully, but they cannot overcome the mess that they’re stuck in.