A visually sumptuous mostly non-Shakespeare-languaged-set-in-the-day version for the “Twilight Crowd”.
Shakespeare purists will have some problems with “Downton Abbey” creator and Oscar-winning screenwriter (“Gosford Park) Julien Fellowes’ version of the classic that inspired every star-crossed love story, from “West Side Story” to “Twilight”. While it’s a period piece, it’s not a by-the-book version. Not that they live in the end or anything.
16 year old Oscar nominee (“True Grit) Hailee Steinfeld stars with 21 year old “Downton Abbey’s” Douglas Booth as the doomed lovers. They’re no Claire Danes or Leonardo DiCaprio (as in Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film). Steinfeld and Booth are passionless. And I just don’t buy that they’d fall so desperately in love and marry after maybe an hour together !!
I have to say it’s one fine looking period piece. From the scenery to the fashions, it’s a looker. The other standout: the always great Paul Giamatti as Friar Laurence.
Shakespeare wrote “We have seen better days”. Well, we have seen better versions of the ultimate love tragedy.