A Midsummer Night's Dream
USA, Italy, UK
Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
IMDB rating:
Michael Hoffman
Christian Bale as Demetrius
Max Wright as Robin Starveling
Anna Friel as Hermia
Dominic West as Lysander
Bill Irwin as Tom Snout
Kevin Kline as Nick Bottom
Rupert Everett as Oberon
Sam Rockwell as Francis Flute
Sophie Marceau as Hippolyta
Roger Rees as Peter Quince
Storyline: Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which causes people to fall in love with the first thing they see upon waking. Throw in a group of labourers preparing a play for the Duke's wedding (one of whom is given a donkey's head and Titania for a lover by Puck) and the complications become fantastically funny.
Type HQ DVD-rip
Resolution 720x268 px
File Size 1451 Mb
Codec mpeg4
Bitrate 1683 Kbps
Format mp4
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x268 px 1451 Mb mpeg4 1683 Kbps mp4 Download

Good casting, bad casting
I liked this movie but was disappointed in some of the casting decisions... Rubert Everett was a wonderful (and visually perfect) Oberon, but oh how I wished for Emma Thompson as Titonia...(not that Michelle Pfeiffer wasn't gorgeous in the role but wouldn't Emma's voice and inflection have been just that much more perfect?), Kevin Kline was good as Bottom but Stanley Tucci as Puck? What were they thinking? Puck is (in my mind at least) young, a young impish, prankish youth.... it totally destroyed the feel of the movie for me with him in that role. I suppose I was spoiled when I saw the Royal Shakespere Company's version several years ago (fairies in doc marten boots *S*)... so it was slightly disappointing to me to see this version. However, I enjoyed it overall and delighted at the play at the end and I think the cast did a stellar job of what is a difficult play to pull off.
I know Shakespeare. This is NOT Shakespeare.
I'm a trained actor too, and I know Shakespeare. This is NOT good Shakespeare. Prancing around melodramatically, overacting, and slapstick comedy are signs that the actors and director do NOT understand the subtleties of Shakespearean dialog. Midsummer is actually a deep play, a very dark and poignant satire. This version is just plain junk.
I thought it was pretty good
A Midsummer Night's Dream is the only real work of Shakespeare's I've seen, on film or anywhere else. (Shakespeare in Love doesn't count.) I've seen this version and the old one from the '30's. I preferred this one. The performances were all pretty good, the scenery was fine, (It never crossed my mind that the forest was a set.) and the direction is pretty good, too. Even though the focus keeps going from one set of problems to the other, I never got lost. There was a debate on this site several months ago about whether or not Nick Bottom should have become a more major character in the film than he was in the play. I think it was a good idea; if I'd had to watch the four lovers chasing each other for twenty straight minutes, as I did in the old one, I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much. It helps that Kevin Kline is good as Bottom himself, and makes a good companion to the lusty, sexy Michelle Pfiffer. (sp?) Thankfully, Stanley Tucci is much quieter as Puck than Mickey Rooney. The whole production really did have an aura of enchantment about it. The only real flaw was that at the end, every scene seemed to be the last, but then they tacked another one on. This went on for about ten minutes, and got annoying, but really they shouldn't have cut any of the scenes; all add to the story. I do recommend this film.
I am not a Shakespeare fan, but I certainly did enjoy this comedy. It was well acted by all including Ally McBeal, and the stand out job was done by Kevin Kline. The two hours literally flew by.
Sooooo cute!
Last night I saw this movie only because Christian Bale is in it, but it turned out to be fantastic to me. This realization of Shakespeares A Midsummer Night's Dream is quite extraordinary. The costumes are great and the actors really make believe what they are playing. I normally do not like Calista Flockhart but I thought her performance was pretty funny and nice. In complete, the movie is incredibly funny and cute, a real feel-good-movie. Normally, Shakespeare's plays make me cry but this was so funnily played that I could only laugh. When it was over, I decided that I must immediately buy the DVD because I think this movie can make you happy when you watch it. The old Shakespearean lines don't make it difficult, it is just perfect.
Rounding out Shakespeare
Being an English major in college and an English teacher for high schoolers, I have seen my fair share of people's renditions of Shakespeare. And I must say, I do appreciate this rendition.

What many people upon first experience with Shakespeare do not realize is that his plays have absolutely no stage direction accompanying them. Every movement, every formation of a scene must be completely created by the production's director. (This is why we see so many examples of Shakespeare's plays taken out of their Elizabethan context and "updated" into another time period.) Thus, what we as an audience see as a "finished product" is greatly dependent upon a director's interpretation of a given scene or act.

In this case, I believe that Michael Hoffman has done an admirable job. He has "rounded off" some of the unanswered questions within the script itself, and given reason for certain lines that otherwise would not make sense. For example -- take the final Pyramus and Thisbe scene. Many times I have seen troupes try to get around the "this is my dog" line, with limited success. By proper staging and unscripted (and thus unspoken) interactions, the dog finally makes sense within the scene.

My only criticism of the movie, in fact, is the way that Calista Flockhart portrays Helena. I understand that her character is hopelessly lovestruck and heartbroken because the object of her affection won't return her sentiment, but she's simply a little too overwrought for my tastes. The way that she gasps between almost every line of dialogue quickly becomes distracting, and her distress verges on one-dimensional.

Yet all in all, the movie is a wonderful retelling of probably my favorite of Shakespeare's comedies -- and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the Bard.
The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life
"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a story about the re-enchantment of everyday life. The actors don't speak modern-day English so it is often difficult to understand what they are saying. But thankfully this is the kind of film that you can watch many times over mostly because it is not a drama. Or rather the drama in this film is softened to the point of seeming like a harmless interlude. The film after all is a tame love comedy and simple at what it does. Towards the end of the film you realize that wondering and dreaming is more important to the pursuit of happiness than having or owning. An antidote to everything else in life.

Also recommended: "Bringing Up Baby" (1938)
A Dreamer's Love Song
A very touching tale and moving classic - having never read the play itself I felt intuned as to the characters and plot as it unfolded in front of my eyes in such a way that I was astounded. The beginning came along slowly, but nevertheless during the introduction of Puck I became hooked. During the love trance of Michelle Phieffer and Kevin Kline I felt myself wanting to be Bottom and donning those donkey ears. Michelle Pheiffer was outstanding and took my heart with her as she exited with Oberon. And the two most stand out performances go to Kevin Kline and Calista Flockhart - I was moved and touched. The Bard's classic has been told many times, but none in such a way that this is - well done by all.
Delightful with excellent presentation
Delightful I found this film to be. Most excellent is found the directing, as was delivered the acting, costuming, and blending of effects. Dialogue to Shakespeare true was unaffectedly and rapidly delivered. Also excellent was found the setting's choice, and in appearance most fanciful was made the "green world" of Shakespeare. Creatures exotic, exciting, and sensual did it contain. Most joyous did I find missing the darkness, British, that often so obliterates life from Shakespeare's plays that in the tombs are they found wallowing. Tis fact that so exceedingly alive was Shakespeare in life that jousting verbal and words played-on his hallmark were, and of them attention acute and contemplation deep are required. Well done!
A Midsummer Nights Dream Is Magic for the Dreamers in all of us!
The movie, "A MidSummer Nights Dream" the 1999 version was exquisite. A lot of fun for me to watch, I enjoyed it immensly. Some of my enjoyment may have come from the fact that I had just watched it performed at my old school as their school play, and the performed it 50's style. With a hot 50's soundtrack, while keeping the same shakespeare script. So it made me quite interested to see the movie. I LOVED the movie, being one that is the MASTER Of dreams, and imagination. I love that kind of stuff...faeries...magic...love...it all is the BEST kind of story imagination. Go see this movie...The cast does a BRILLIANT job in their roles. Rupert Everett does a remarkable performance as "Oberon" the king of the faeries. Michelle Pfeiffer shines wickedly as "Titania" the queen of the Faeries. Christian Bale (The ladies favorite, ask them if their a fan and they may spout out the word "Balehead") does an astounding performance as "Demetrius" the man who is to marry "Hermia" (played by newcomer Anna Friel) by her fathers demands. Hermia is, however, in love with "Lysander" (Played by Dominic West), but her father does not approve of this love. So Lysander and Hermia want to runaway together and marry. Demetrius finds out, and tries to stop them because he wants Hermia...however, Lysander and Hermia aren't the only ones being chased...Demetrius has a someone on his tail, and quite in love with him, but Demetrius does not love in return..."Helena" (Played by screen star Calista Flockhart) is the woman who cannot stop from being quite infatuated with Demetrius. This is where the faeries come in...they use their magic to try and make the right people fall in love. To make Demetrius love Helena...However, the Faeries fall into some problems and mishaps themselves. Other cast performances include, Kevin Kline as "Nick Bottom" , Sophie Marceau as "Hippolyta", David Strathairn as "Theseus" , and Stanley Tucci as "Puck", Oberon's Faerie helper. Don't worry about having to understand the shakespeare language, this is quite an easy one to catch on to, and VERY enjoyable. Don't miss this. I'm 18, and if I can catch on, then most adults can...this movie is beautiful.
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