Film review: Julian Fellowes' Romeo and Juliet is thoroughly lacking in any emotional oomph

Carlo Carlei, 120mins. Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Damian Lewis (PG)

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The Independent Culture

It is hard to work out why Julian Fellowes (of Downton Abbey fame) wanted to re-write Shakespeare. Wasn't the original up to scratch?

This Swarovski-financed version of Romeo and Juliet is sumptuously shot, boasts a decent cast and features some rousing Three Musketeer-style swordplay, but is thoroughly lacking in any emotional oomph.

The male lead Douglas Booth shows a certain star quality, even if his Romeo is on the epicene side, but Hailee Steinfeld – the cowgirl from the Coen brothers' True Grit – is strangely cast as Juliet. The horribly schmaltzy Richard Clayderman-style piano music that underpins almost every scene doesn't help.