Shakespeare in Love

That a particular woman inspired at least two of Shakespeare's plays is the heady speculation that drives this keenly enjoyable 1998 comedy, in which the playwright consciously lets his art imitate his life as competition for love and money induces him to break stifling conventions. It's easy to suspend disbelief and embrace this historically creative fiction, whose clever relationship to what's known and what's unresolved is part of what makes it so intriguing and so romantic. John Madden directed a screenplay by Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman; with Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Geoffrey Rush, and Judi Dench. R, 122 min.

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