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McCarthy’s “Romeo + Juliet: Film Review” Is Worthy of the Bard Himself

In response to Todd McCarthy’s 1016‑word review of Romeo and Juliet on Hollywood Reporter

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It can’t be easy to review a film adaptation of what is undoubtedly one of the most adapted stories of all time, but Todd McCarthy does so with aplomb in “Romeo + Juliet: Film Review.” Honing in on the aspects of this newest adaptation that do or don’t work in comparison to the scores of others, McCarthy presents a supremely compelling criticism of the film.

Choosing to draw upon the long history of Romeo and Juliet (the play) rather than reviewing this newest film as if it existed in a vacuum, McCarthy references not only past film versions of the story but also contemporary stage adaptations. The result is that the reader gets a sense of the recent history of the play and what this film needs to do to rise above all its contemporaries.

Where McCarthy doesn’t feel like the film rises to the challenge, he gives a detailed and compelling case for why. He also gives credit where credit is due, like when he cites particular actors whom he feels do more justice to the source material than others. After all, Shakespeare’s plays and their many adaptations are made or broken by the performance of the actors.

“Romeo + Juliet: Film Review” is a contemporary masterpiece of the genre, building on a long history of Shakespearean criticism and making it his own. For fans of reviews of the Bard’s work, this is a must-read.    

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