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Romeo & Juliet

Romeo & Juliet

4.0 3
Director: Carlo Carlei

Cast: Hailee Steinfeld, Douglas Booth, Ed Westwick


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William Shakespeare's timeless tale of love and tragedy gets a 21st century makeover in this update starring Douglas Booth as Romeo, and Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. Directed by Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent) and adapted by


William Shakespeare's timeless tale of love and tragedy gets a 21st century makeover in this update starring Douglas Booth as Romeo, and Hailee Steinfeld as Juliet. Directed by Carlo Carlei (The Flight of the Innocent) and adapted by Julian Fellowes, Romeo & Juliet finds the innocent young lovers caught up in a bitter feud between their warring families, the Montagues and Capulets. Determined not to let the sins of their families' turbulent pasts stand in the path of true love, Romeo and Juliet run away to wed in secrecy. Alas, happiness was not to come, for in time the flames of their youthful passion will consume them both. Paul Giamatti, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Stellan Skarsgard co-star.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
While it's common for theater directors to stage both radically reworked and traditional productions of classic plays, movies are a different beast. Although Hollywood loves remakes, those happen primarily because the studios can sell them on name recognition, not because an artist has an idea about how to present familiar material in a new and enlightening way. Carlo Carlei's adaptation of Romeo & Juliet is much closer to being a traditionalist exercise than a bold reimagining, but the sharp script by Oscar-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes goes a long way toward making it a version of the story that can be easily embraced by a new generation. The story should be quite familiar to most. The Montagues and the Capulets are two feuding families in the Italian city of Verona. When teenagers Juliet Capulet (Hailee Steinfeld) and Romeo Montague (Douglas Booth) see each other at a masquerade ball, they instantly fall madly in love -- even though the purpose of the festivities was to introduce Juliet to Paris (Tom Wisdom), the nobleman her parents want her to marry. When a duel breaks out between Romeo's best friend Mercutio (Christian Cooke) and the Montague-hating Tybalt (Ed Westwick), Romeo is compelled to avenge his friend and slay Tybalt. Having already warned the two clans to live peacefully, the prince of Verona (Stellan Skarsgård) orders Romeo banished from the land. This, added to the fact that the two families despise each other, seems to squelch any hope that the two young lovers will end up together. However, with the help of Friar Laurence (Paul Giamatti) and Juliet's loyal nurse (Lesley Manville), a plot unfolds for the pair to be reunited. What sets this particular version of Romeo & Juliet apart from the others is the script by Fellowes, which not only effectively streamlines the plot, but fuses chunks of the original text with dialogue created by the screenwriter. That might seem sacrilegious to purists, but it helps shape the film into a manageable story without sacrificing the poetic dialogue. Thankfully, the cast are more than able to deliver that dialogue, and two performers in particular stand out above the rest. Hailee Steinfeld, not quite 17 at the time of this movie's release, impresses with her poise and her ability to project maturity. She proved three years earlier in True Grit, her remarkable film debut, that she could easily navigate the verbose and precise dialogue of novelist Charles Portis (as reworked by the Coen brothers). She confirms here that her previous work was no fluke, making her Juliet tragic and real without missing the nuance and beauty of the script. It seems plausible that she learned a great deal from watching Paul Giamatti, who shines here precisely because he's the only one who doesn't seem weighed down by the history of the text -- he makes this dialogue sound utterly natural and commonplace. There are no real surprises in the movie: Carlei's direction is solid and unflashy. The entire production has been designed to appeal to teens skeptical that they can understand Shakespeare, but at the same time, it's been given enough tradition so it won't alienate those who love the source material. Franco Zeffirelli had a huge hit 45 years ago with an adaptation of Romeo & Juliet that took much the same approach to this material, and while it seems unlikely that this new version will become a similar phenomenon, it might just make a few brave young souls feel like exploring the work of history's greatest playwright.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; Romeo & Juliet featurettes; Cast and crew; The filmmaker's vision; Creating the look; Hair and makeup

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Hailee Steinfeld Juliet
Douglas Booth Romeo
Ed Westwick Tybalt
Kodi Smit-McPhee Benvolio
Paul Giamatti Friar Laurence
Stellan Skarsgård Prince Escalus
Christian Cooke Mercutio
Damian Lewis Lord Capulet
Tomas Arana Lord Montague
Natascha McElhone Lady Capulet
Lesley Manville Nurse
Laura Morante Lady Montague
Leon Vitali Apothecary
Tom Wisdom Count Paris
Nathalie Rapti Gomez Rosaline
Anton Alexander Abraham

Technical Credits
Carlo Carlei Director
Phil Alberstat Executive Producer
Simon Bosanquet Producer
Milena Canonero Co-producer
Marco Cohen Executive Producer
Fabrizio Donvito Executive Producer
Lawrence Elman Producer
Julian Fellowes Producer,Screenwriter
Beneditto Habib Executive Producer
Peter Honess Editor
Ros Hubbard Casting
John Hubbard Casting
Alexander Koll Producer
Abel Korzeniowski Score Composer
Markus Langes-Swarovski Executive Producer
Ileen Maisel Producer
Doug Mankoff Producer
Christina Onori Art Director
Carlo Poggioli Costumes/Costume Designer
Gianpaolo Rifino Art Director
Armando Savoia Art Director
Steven Silver Executive Producer
Andrew Spaulding Producer
Nadja Swarovski Producer
Neil Tabatznik Executive Producer
David Tattersall Cinematographer
Dimitra Tsingou Producer
Tonino Zera Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Romeo & Juliet
1. Scene 1 [2:57]
2. Scene 2 [2:43]
3. Scene 3 [3:33]
4. Scene 4 [4:11]
5. Scene 5 [6:47]
6. Scene 6 [5:34]
7. Scene 7 [6:55]
8. Scene 8 [2:52]
9. Scene 9 [5:30]
10. Scene 10 [4:17]
11. Scene 11 [5:52]
12. Scene 12 [2:25]
13. Scene 13 [3:11]
14. Scene 14 [4:38]
15. Scene 15 [8:23]
16. Scene 16 [5:18]
17. Scene 17 [4:30]
18. Scene 18 [3:49]
19. Scene 19 [5:06]
20. Scene 20 [5:22]
21. Scene 21 [3:43]
22. Scene 22 [5:29]
23. Scene 23 [7:04]
24. Scene 24 [8:07]


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Romeo & Juliet 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Artsprof More than 1 year ago
This film version of R&J is not true to Shaespeare's "real" R&J. They have substituted two young attractive performers for a real Romeo and Juliet, and the change in the ending, even though slight, was shocking!
Bookwormchic31 More than 1 year ago
This movie is amazing!! My favorite at the time.