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A Midsummer Night's Dream

The movie A Midsummer Night's Dream was based on the book Midsummer Night's Dream, A (play).

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Movie details for A Midsummer Night's Dream

The movie was released in 1999 and directed by Michael Hoffman, who also directed Restoration (1995) and The Emperor's Club (2002). A Midsummer Night's Dream was produced by 20th Century Fox. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com.

Actors on this movie include Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Dominic West, Christian Bale, Anna Friel, David Strathairn, Sophie Marceau, Roger Rees, Sam Rockwell, Gregory Jbara, Bill Irwin, Max Wright, Bernard Hill, John Sessions, Deirdre Harrison, Heather Parisi and Annalisa Cordone.

 

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Imagine a work by Shakespeare reduced to one of those pretty, glossy coffee-table picture books that have only a dollop of text alongside its sumptuous photographs, and you might have Michael Hoffman's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. This all-sta... Read More
Imagine a work by Shakespeare reduced to one of those pretty, glossy coffee-table picture books that have only a dollop of text alongside its sumptuous photographs, and you might have Michael Hoffman's adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream. This all-star version of Shakespeare's comedy is gorgeously shot in Tuscany, complete with a magical forest, breathtaking landscapes, beautiful villas, picturesque villages, stunning period costumes--oh wait, there's supposed to be a story here, too! Hoffman hijacks Shakespeare's basic premise but doesn't instill it with much more than surface shine and transplants it to turn-of-the-century Italy. Ergo, it's left up to the actors to find the heart and soul of this classic play, in which the fairies of the forest play mix and match with four young lovers, courtesy of a magical love potion. Hoffman couldn't ask for better (or better looking) actors to play Shakespeare's dreamlike love games--Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Calista Flockhart, Christian Bale, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Kline, Anna Friel, Dominic West, the list goes on and on--but he sure as heck doesn't know what to do with them, aside from putting them in various states of undress. Only Flockhart (as the lovestruck Helena), Tucci (a sprightly Puck), Pfeiffer (dazzling and funny as the queen of the fairies), and especially the sublime Kline (as weaver-turned-donkey Bottom) seem to connect with their characters in ways that make this adaptation occasionally soar; the rest are inexplicably left to flounder. Hoffman does seem to set himself right with the film's climax, when Bottom's amateur acting troupe hilariously enacts the tale of Pyramus and Thisbe (it helps that the troupe includes Roger Rees, Sam Rockwell, and Bill Irwin). Those searching for a more in-depth exploration of Shakespeare's farce might do better to look elsewhere, but if it's gorgeous actors and scenery you're in the mood for (along with an evocative opera soundtrack), and an all's-well-that-ends-well ending, this Midsummer Night will give you pleasant if weightless dreams. --Mark Englehart

Book details for Midsummer Night's Dream, A (play)

Midsummer Night's Dream, A (play) was written by William Shakespeare. The book was published in 1937 by Row, Peterson and Co. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

William Shakespeare also wrote The Taming of the Shrew: (play) (1868), Henry IV (play) (1979), Macbeth (play) (1997) and MacBeth (2003).

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