Shakespeare in Love ★★★★½

The film that single-handedly beat "Private Ryan" for the Best Picture Oscar, and I think deservedly so. While I have great things to say about both, I truly appreciated this one as a bona-fide original, a sweet and clever riff on a rather pivotal (though fictional) moment in Shakespeare's life.

Throw in a game cast, from a funny Ben Affleck to a sublime Geoffrey Rush, from a smoldering Joseph Fiennes to a luminous Gwyneth Paltrow, and you've got an exquisitely smart comedy, whether you are a Shakespeare fan or not.

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