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Plot, Details & Awards

Shakespeare in Love

Rated R for sexuality.

R In Theaters 12/11/1998 , 122min.
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Plot & Details

William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is on a cold streak. Not only is he writing for Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush), owner of "The Rose," a theatre whose doors are about to be closed by sadistic creditors, but he's got a nasty case of writer's block. Shakespeare hasn't written a hit in years. In fact, he hasn't written much of anything recently. Thus, the Bard finds himself in quite a bind when Henslowe, desperate to stave off another round of hot-coals-to-feet application, stakes The Rose's solvency on Shakespeare's new comedy, "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter." The problem is, "Romeo" is safely "locked away" in Shakespeare's head, which is to say that not a word of it is written. Meanwhile, the lovely Lady Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an ardent theatre-goer -- scandalous for a woman of her breeding -- who especially admires Shakespeare's plays and, not incidentally, Bill himself. Alas, she's about to be sold as property into a loveless marriage by her mercenary father and shipped off to a Virginia tobacco plantation. But not before dressing up as a young man and winning the part of Romeo in the embryonic play. Shakespeare soon discovers the deception and goes along with it, using the blossoming love affair to ignite his muse. As William and Viola's romance grows in intensity and spirals towards its inevitable culmination, so, too, does the farcical comedy about Romeo and pirates transform into the timeless tragedy that is Romeo and Juliet.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Peter Glossop Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actress Judi Dench Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Dominic Lester Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Marc Norman Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Cinematography Richard Greatrex Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup Lisa Westcott Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costume Design Sandy Powell Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Actress Gwyneth Paltrow Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Supporting Actor Geoffrey Rush Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Martin Childs Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Director John Madden Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Sound Robin O'Donoghue Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Edward Zwick Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Jill Quertier Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup Veronica Brebner Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Tom Stoppard Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Musical or Comedy Score Stephen Warbeck Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture Harvey Weinstein Won
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Editing David Gamble Nominated
1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Picture David Parfitt Won

Golden Globes

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Marc Norman Won
1998 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Picture - Musical or Comedy Won
1998 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy Gwyneth Paltrow Won
1998 Hollywood Foreign Press Association Best Screenplay Tom Stoppard Won

American Society of Cinematographers

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 American Society of Cinematographers Best Cinematography Richard Greatrex Nominated

Berlin International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Outstanding Individual Performance Tom Stoppard Won
1999 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Bear for Outstanding Individual Performance Marc Norman Won

Broadcast Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Original Screenplay Tom Stoppard Won
1998 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Original Screenplay Marc Norman Won
1998 Broadcast Film Critics Association Breakthrough Performer Joseph Fiennes Won

Chicago Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Marc Norman Won
1998 Chicago Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Tom Stoppard Won
1998 Chicago Film Critics Association Most Promising Actor Joseph Fiennes Won

Directors Guild of America

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Directors Guild of America Best Director John Madden Nominated

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1998 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Screenplay Marc Norman Won

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