4 items from 2013
One of the key elements of Shakespeare’s plays is that no matter how many times you see an adaptation of one of his works, you can derive something new from it. That’s certainly true of Carlo Carlei’s version of Romeo and Juliet. Given that the tale has been recreated countless times, the idea of a straightforward adaptation is refreshing. The story, like many of Shakespeare’s works, has been done to death, but his vivid language is seldom short of breathtaking and thus, never tiring.
There’s also a lovely score by Abel Korzeniowski, stunning costumes by Carlo Poggioli, and production designer Tonino Zera’s utilization of the still breathtaking sites of Verona and Mantua (where some of the project was shot). Unfortunately, there’s also a lot to be desired.
- Justine Browning
So much updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been done over the years that some of the subtleties that made the story such a classic may have gotten lost in the shuffle (the first film version in 1936 starred 34-year-old Norma Shearer and 43-year-old Leslie Howard as the 15-years old doomed lovers!). That is why the newest take from Italian director Carlo Carlei is such a pleasure. He seems to have a great, classical, purist understanding of the material, and though Romeo And Juliet is pared down, Carlei has the skill to make his version as cinematic as possible while respecting the source. The plot is well known, loaded with tragedy that could always have been so easily averted. It takes place in 16th century renaissance Italy. Romeo Montague (Douglas Booth) and Juliet Capulet (Hailee Steinfeld) fall in love, despite the fact that their families are bitter enemies. Their »
- Tom Stockman
“Wisely and slow. They stumble that run fast.” That’s the good Friar Lawrence warning Romeo not to act in haste, though he might just as well have been advising against the lurching, unsteady approach that proves the undoing of this desultory new version of “Romeo & Juliet.” Billing itself as the first picture since Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film to return Shakespeare’s endlessly malleable tragedy to its Veronese roots, director Carlo Carlei’s underwhelming adaptation, streamlined and simplified by Julian Fellowes from the original text, offers a throwback to classicism but is in little danger of being mistaken for a classic. Shorn of eroticism, intensity or purpose, apart from being the first feature backed by enterprising luxury brand Swarovski, it strikes familiar beats in a manner more strained than inspired.
Opening Oct. 11 Stateside through Relativity Media, this first high-profile Hollywood stab at the material in nearly two decades could court »
- Justin Chang
Ever since creating one of the most beautiful, memorable scores in recent history for Tom Ford's A Single Man, Polish composer Abel Korzeniowski has been on my radar. When I first heard his music, I thought this was the work of a composer well into his years, finishing his 50th score or so, but Abel is a rather young up-and-coming composer making a name for himself. Besides A Single Man, he scored Madonna's W.E. as well as the Sundance Disney World-set buzz film Escape From Tomorrow. Yep, even that has a classical score, and it's one of the standouts this year already. I interviewed Mr. Korzeniowski through email recently. I noticed that he was very active on twitter following the premiere of Escape From Tomorrow at Sundance, so I decided to get in touch for a formal interview and the chance to introduce everyone to composer Abel Korzeniowski. His »
- Alex Billington
4 items from 2013
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