In the screen version of Shakespeare in Love, written by playwright Tom Stoppard, Fiennes played Will Shakespeare, who is suffering writer’s block while working on what will become Romeo and Juliet. A young actor who has been cast to play Romeo is actually a noblewoman named Viola (played by Gwyneth Paltrow), who has had to disguise herself as it’s against the law for women to perform on stage. Author and actor fall in love and their passionate, but doomed, love affair inspires Shakespeare’s writing of his great tragedy.
The film, directed by John Madden, won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actress for Paltrow and Best Supporting Actress for Judi Dench, who made a cameo appearance as Queen Elizabeth.
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