Blue Starlite Drive-In: Valentine's Week:
Park your preconceptions at the door before entering. Overhyped as the newest thing in youth culture retro-vogue, Baz Luhrmann's new film adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet seems positioned to slip one past the Shakespeare purists and art aesthetes while building a base of support among the newbie MTV generation of star-crossed teens in love. If so, what a self-limiting miscalculation. For Luhrmann's rendition is not so much a reconceptualization as a recontextualization of the 400-year-old play. This Romeo & Juliet is a rich visual feast, besotted with the fervor of its acrobatic camerawork and kinetic staging and its mind-bending aggregation of unrelated but resonant fragments of 20th century iconography. It is a Shakespearean work thoroughly conceived for the screen. In terms of sheer spectacle, there is hardly another work this year that compares with Romeo & Juliet. Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes once again prove that they are two of the best actors of their generation. And William Shakespeare has once more demonstrated that he is a storyteller for all time. Read a full review of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.