"TRUE GRIT"), Ed Westwick (TV's Gossip Girl), Paul Giamatti ("THE IDES OF MARCH"), Lesley Manville ("ANOTHER YEAR"), Kodi Smit-McPhee ("THE ROAD", "LET ME IN"), Carlo Carlei, ROMEOANDJULIET, icon, Icon Film Distribution, 2013.">


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Review of "ROMEO & JULIET"
By Jayne Waterford
Copyrighted © Jayne Waterford, 2014. Written 31st March 2014. Revised 1st April 2014. Revised 1st April 2014.
REVIEW: "ROMEO & JULIET" by Jayne Waterford

Aye me. I'm sorry about my review of Paul W.S. Anderson's "POMPEII" (2014). I'd just come out of a screening of Carlo Carlei's "ROMEO & JULIET" (2013).

We have Julian Fellowes to thank for the compulsion to plug one's fingers in one's ears at the sound of murdered genius that is William Shakespeare. Sadly, the only time word order was allowed to approach awkwardness was when a character was rhyming poetry and it was Romeo who attained the dubious pleasure of saying the word thou, when warming up for his soliloquy.

But then I have to wonder at the power of Shakespeare because even through performances that yeilded no chemistry, I found the relationship between Romeo and Juliet untenable and all of the characters with emotions as bare and dry as parchment, the plot still moved me. I found myself inventing reason why the young ones must at some level be in love! Viva la Shakespeare. In many micro-moments the young stars forgot they were in love blowing credibilty for me.

Mark Strong that verteran of the hottest and most deeply moving love story of 2011, Tomas Alfredson's

"TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY", suddenly popped up, just as I had despaired of two hours of my life, right in the begining he did a walk through that lent all credibility to the three skuffles in the streets of Verona. I thought, "ooo Mark Strong! This can't be so bad?" It was a long wait for Paul Giamatti to materialise and I was grateful.

And the crucial error is: Speakers of English as a native language only ever annunciate words separately and clearly, clear-as-a-bell, when we want someone to understand that we are angry and upset with them. Consequently, none more so than the nurse of perfect diction, miss pissy ass herself, the most unfunny woman in the world, easily eclipsed by Miriam Margolyes in the role of The Nurse in Baz Luhrmann's Shakespearean epic, Lesley Manville. Subsequently everyone sounded cross and unlikeable. Hmmm. Except Paul Giamatti, who spoke the most gorgeous Latin I have ever heard. He was like an Asimov's Lenny. European's do this naturally in their own languages as well so I don't know what Carlo Carlei was thinking.

So many components of this production were perfect. Please read my notes accompanying the photographs further along this page. But it did not stop the spoil of bad work. It felt like homework. 3/10
Copyrighted ©: Jayne Waterford, 2014.

Carlo Carlei's
"ROMEO & JULIET" (2013)
Release Date 13th February 2014
Category Very Young Adult Who Hates Homework Drama/Romance
Running Time 118 minutes (2 hours)
Rating M
Origin USA
Director Carlo Carlei
Producers Simon Bosanquet, Lawrence Elman, Julian Fellowes, Alexander Koll, Ileen Maisel, Doug Mankoff, Andrew Spaulding, Nadja Swarovski, Dimitra Tsingou
Stars Douglas Booth ("WORRIED ABOUT THE BOY", TV's Great Expectations), Hailee Steinfeld ("TRUE GRIT"), Ed Westwick (TV's Gossip Girl), Paul Giamatti ("THE IDES OF MARCH"), Lesley Manville ("ANOTHER YEAR"), Kodi Smit-McPhee ("THE ROAD", "LET ME IN")
Distributor Icon Film Distribution

Official Blurb "A new generation will fall in love with this classic retelling of what is probably
Shakespeare’s most famous story. Adapted by Academy Award®-winning writer, Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, TV’s Downton Abbey), the tale unfolds in the original Shakespearean tongue. As ROMEO AND JULIET, Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld breathe new life into the world’s most tragic star crossed lovers." - Icon Film Distribution PR
100% of "ROMEO & JULIET" was filmed in perfect parts of Italy: Verona, Veneto, Italy; Mantua, Lombardia, Italy; Stages, Cinecittà Studios, Cinecittà, Rome, Lazio, Italy; Abbey, Subiaco, Rome, Lazio, Italy; Palazzo Farnese, Caprarola, Viterbo, Lazio, Italy; Tarquinia, Viterbo, Lazio, Italy; Palazzo Ducale, Mantua, Lombardia, Italy; Le Grazie, Curtatone, Mantua, Lombardia, Italy.

The location scout, god bless whoever they were and Gianpaolo Rifino and Armando Savoia (art direction) and Maurizio Leonardi and Christina Onori (set design), props and Carlo Poggioli (costuming) deserve Awards®. It wasn't sumptuous, it wasn't luxurious. It was perfect.

Location, location location...
David Tattersall (cinematography) There's another Award® right there. Your lighting on costumes make this palpably real. As much as I joke about the costumes being more radical than those used in Baz Luhrmann's "ROMEO + JULIET" (1996) you did evoke the 15th Century daytime life of Italians for me. Everything felt real because of your combined effort. And look at that action framed as if it is really there!
It's quite fascinating Hailee Steinfeld and director Carlo Carlei gave us Juliet as a real child.
Worst night dress 2013.
... which pretty much led directly to...

The conspirators: Nurse (Lesley Manville), Romeo (Douglas Booth), Juliet (Hailee Steinfeld) and a total surpise a very quiet Friar Laurence
(Paul Giamatti) and contrasting nicely, absolutely distinguished from, not even in reference to, shut up Jayne, with Pete Postlethwaite's Father Laurence in Baz Luhrmann's "ROMEO + JULIET" (1996). Douglas Booth would you please note Giamatti's palpable generosity? It comes some what from presence of mind and focus! Leonardo DiCaprio didn't do this to me!

It leads me to wonder about the nature of Romeo's love. With a Juliet sporting this wear and Rozaline looking all affectation in comparison it must have been love. Like they shared no chemistry at all and lay chaste in each other's arms on their wedding night. "Must have," is where we go.

I LOVE this framing!

A stand out component of Carlo Carlei's direction was the clarity he brought to nuance, puns and innuendo. Clarity came at a price but Leon Vitali's performance of the apothecary is just one fine example of a scene that rings true. (Or is it just Shakspeare?)
The penultimate tragedy and the final scene was played out as kids not knowing what else to do. No one cries like Giamatti.