SHOULD WE wonder that Shakespeare in Love has brought to Britain an unprecedented collection of Oscars? Much is due to the sudden impact of Gwyneth Paltrow, a brilliant new actress, bursting on a startled world like a one-woman firework display. And more to a script of astonishing strength and delicacy by one of the theatre's greatest artists. (Paul Johnson)
IF THE cash for Shakespeare in Love was raised in America, it is a tribute to the pulling power of England's playwright; and the recognition of America's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a tribute to Britons - including the quintessentially British, Czech-born scriptwriter Sir Tom Stoppard - working in a tradition that his ghost still dominates. Britons (mostly) made Shakespeare in Love; America made it possible. And in just eight minutes on screen, Dame Judi made it marvellous.
THE ROMANTIC comedy Shakespeare in Love, amid much hugging and tears, scooped seven Oscars at the awards ceremony. No doubt even Harold Bloom, the chief vestal virgin at the temple of Shakespeare, can derive satisfaction from the world's greatest playwright, though recast in Hollywood colours, still having such a powerful grip on the Western imagination.
IT'S GREAT news, of course, that we retain our national tradition of Britain sweeping the board, or almost so, in the Americans' biggest handout of the year. But the upbeat mood of the winners, not to say this country, has to be challenged by some facts about the Americans' own industry. The truth is, the US industry has overheated. Not fatally, not even calamitously but, like the stock market, a pervasive unease present amid the cheering. The Oscars suggest all is fine and dandy in Hollywood. And so it is for the glittering prize winners. But open the doors of the humble store where everyday entertainment is stashed, and too often what meets the eye is junk. (Alexander Walker)Reuse content