Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet

Hope & despair, tragedy & love, Romeo & Juliet.

Baz Luhrmann reinterprets Shakespeare's romantic tragedy of two ill-fated, star-crossed lovers, in a contemporary Verona Beach setting. The two youngsters (Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes) from rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues, enter a passionate but illicit romance.

While Luhrmann and scriptwriter Craig Pearce retain Shakespearean dialogue, the warring families become mafia empires and swords are replaced with guns (with brand names "Dagger" and "Sword" to preserve the play's language).

"Two households, both alike in dignity. In Fair Verona where we lay our scene. From ancient grudge break to new mutiny. Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life."

Awards

Winner of four 1998 BAFTAs including Best Adapted Screenplay, Production Design, David Lean Award for Direction. Silver Berlin Bear (Best Actor) winner for DiCaprio and Alfred Bauer Prize winner for Luhrmann, Berlin Film Festival 1997.

Directed by

Written by

Drama, Romance

120mins

Rating: M

USA

Little White Lies (UK)

press

Seventeen years on and Baz Luhrmann's postmodern take on the bard's quintessential tragedy still works like gangbusters.

Time Out London

press

Baz Luhrmann's gleefully cinematic version of the play is so relentlessly inventive and innovative, it takes 20 minutes to get a grasp on how appropriate is his approach to the material.

Total Film (UK)

press

One of the liveliest Shakespeare adaps of the past 20 years

Variety (USA)

press

No doubt the most aggressively modern, assertively trendy adaptations of Shakespeare ever filmed.

Chicago Sun-Times (Roger Ebert)

press

I have never seen anything remotely approaching the mess that the new punk version of Romeo & Juliet makes of Shakespeare's tragedy.

Empire (UK)

press

Shakespeare's name fills up the title, but this is clearly Luhrmann's vision and it's a genuinely inventive one.