Marc Bernardin
March 19, 2002 AT 05:00 AM EST

William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
120 minutes
performer
Claire Danes, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harold Perrineau, Jamie Kennedy, John Leguizamo, Dash Mihok, Pete Postlethwaite, Paul Rudd, Paul Sorvino, Vondie Curtis-Hall
director
Baz Luhrmann
author
Baz Luhrmann
genre
Drama

We gave it a B+

Baz Luhrmann is a little crazy. We can say this because we’ve met him, spoken to him, and listened to the rantings of his crowded-town-hall brain. (Okay, he’s probably not crazy, but there are crazy people who sound an awful lot like him.) You can, however, tell that there’s something mad going on by looking at his films. To fully appreciate them, one must surrender to them. ”Moulin Rouge” works only if you give in to its demanding pop mania, just as Romeo + Juliet succeeds only if you’re willing to let the Shakespearean text and millennial-cum-Elizabethan trappings wash over you. The DVD further underlines his wild-eyed genius: From a commentary that sizzles and rehearsal footage that pops to a clutch of interviews/explanations of how, among other things, he sold this thing to Hollywood, Luhrmann is all over this disc, his Australian charm wooing even would-be skeptics into his loony bin.

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