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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version I've seen yet of this great Shakespeare play
Splendid acting, splendid scenery, splendid conception altogether and especially from Kevin Kline who avoids making Bottom a bit of a twerp but instead presents him as a man with intelligence. My favourite part of Midsummer Night's Dream has always been the play within a play about Pyramus and Thisbe, and as always had me convulsed (ie with laughter).

I saw the...
Published on 22 Aug 2007 by Helen

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Piece of fun
Some good bits of fun and attractive sequences. But some of the cast needed a bit more coaching on the delivery of the verse.
Published 20 months ago by Arabin


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best version I've seen yet of this great Shakespeare play, 22 Aug 2007
Splendid acting, splendid scenery, splendid conception altogether and especially from Kevin Kline who avoids making Bottom a bit of a twerp but instead presents him as a man with intelligence. My favourite part of Midsummer Night's Dream has always been the play within a play about Pyramus and Thisbe, and as always had me convulsed (ie with laughter).

I saw the BBC "Shakespeare retold" version awhile back and that wasn't nearly as good - indeed was sometimes quite boring and the play within a play was turned into two or three very poor modern-style variety acts. So I think it proves this isn't the easiest play to update to the present, although the Beeb's version did have the edge with Titania and Oberon who I think were even better conceived than in this version, but that doesn't detract from this Titania and Oberon as they are excellent. This version highly recommended and very more-ish.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical - loved it, 9 Sep 2005
By 
Skeadugenga (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I've never greatly cared for this play, like 12th Night it seemed more cruel than funny. Therefore I approached an "All Star" version with caution. However this film was a delightful surprise, not only is it a very good ensemble, but the director has managed to make sense of the humour of the "rude mechanicals" for me for the first time. I think this interpretation, even if its not slavishly faithful to the play, gets closer to the intended humour. Its the first version I've seen that actually made me laugh and believe Puck's assertion at the end that no harm has really been done.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh so pretty, 22 April 2009
By 
Mrs. E. Green - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
As a huge Shakespeare fan and a GCSE English teacher I can only say that this is the best adaptation i have ever seen (as it is my favourite of his 43 plays I have seen about 25 different adaptations). It is eminently watchable and Stanley Tucci as Puck, Everett as Oberon and Kline as Bottom, act as if they have waited all their lives for these roles.
Five stars. The only negative is that it is set in the Victorian era, which can confuse students, but all the pretty fairies - and the slight hint of seeing Michelle Pffiefers naked bottom - soon makes up for it!
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bottom is top!, 7 Jan 2004
By 
Mandy Bennett (St. Peter Port, Guernsey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I was deeply unimpressed with the casting of this glossy version of one of my favourite plays, until Kevin Kline appeared on screen. Not only is his performance sublime, but he actually gave an interpretation of Bottom that I have never seen before, one that I found very human and moving. He is worth the admission price alone. Just as well since most of the other performances left me indifferent. Kline's performance lifts this to a four star rating, along with the fantastic incidental music - I've rarely heard the Mascagni used so effectively.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best version I've seen so far of this entertaining play, 4 Sep 2007
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I've only one minus really on this production, that this Oberon isn't quite as good as the Oberon in the Beeb's Shakespeare Retold set - that Oberon was quite wonderful although the production generally was mediocre. However, this Oberon is perfectly good in what's such a delightful version of the play. I enjoyed the setting and the bicycles and yet maintaining the Shakespearean ethos throughout.

Particular accolades to Kevin Kline. Brilliant performance. Worth having really just for him!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 20 Aug 2001
By A Customer
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I actually saw this film on TV. I thoroughly enjoyed it and, although Oberon didn't quite equate to my idea of the Fairy King, I loved Puck. Especially when he was making smoke out of the back pack on a bicycle. However, I do think the actresses who played the two girls could have done better. Their voices just didn't fit. Altogether a most enjoyable film.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enchantingly Beautiful, 18 Mar 2004
By 
Stephen (WASHINGTON, Tyne Wear United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This film especially for those perhaps visiting Shakespeare for the first time will find the setting of this play curious, yet very beautiful - clearly Shakespere is for all ages and for all times. The acting is superb and I do admit that Calista Flockhart takes this journey into the world of Shakespere wonderfully well (talented and very Beautiful!) Not too diminish the charms of both Michelle Pfeiffer and Anna Friel who seems to have been overlooked on the credits (? why) but Calista as Shakespearian Actress demonstrates she is far more than Ally Mc Beal! The cast, costume and settings of this play can be summed up as magical, in sixty years I have to rate this film as the absolute best ever for me.
Film has become violent and quite blatant in its exploitation of sex. This film is undoubtedly sensual - like the classical music that backs the film is sensual, but it it also fun and the special effects add to this sense of sheer delight.
Give this film a chance - let yourself go - watch Shakespere for once - this is how Shakespeare should be - not dried out in the school classroom - but full of wonderful life - and not a little spice!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Midsummer Nights dream, 15 Feb 2009
By 
This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Simply magical - if you don't know the play, or you think Shakespeare is not for you - see this fabulous, funny, sexy dreamscape as an anti-dote to winter blues.It even has mud-wrestling in corsets! Nevertheless, at its most exuberant moments of frivolity, little touches move and delight, and Thisbe will break your heart.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lord, what fools these mortals be, 9 Jun 2010
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
It's neither the best nor worst of Shakespeare's many comedies, but "A Midsummer Night's Dream" definitely holds one honor -- it's the most fantastical of his works. And while the Hollywood adaptation has some flaws in its narrative, it's a remarkably solid little story doused in glitter, lush flowers, 19th-century clothing and sometimes mud-wrestling.

As the Italian city of Monte Athens prepares for the wedding of Theseus and Hippolyta, the fusty Egeus is demanding that his daughter Hermia (Anna Friel) marry the man he's chosen for her, Demetrius (Christian Bale). Her only other options are death or nunhood.

Since she's in love with a young man named Lysander (Dominic West), Hermia refuses, and the two of them plot to escape Athens and marry elsewhere. But Helena (Calista Flockhart), a girl who has been kicked to the curb by Demetrius, tips him off about their plans; he chases Hermia and Lysander into the woods, with Helena following him all the way. Are you confused yet?

But on this same night, the fairy king Oberon (Rupert Everett) and his queen Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer) are feuding over a little Indian boy. Oberon decides to use a magical "love juice" from a flower to cause some trouble for Titania by making her fall in love with some random weaver named Nick Bottom (Kevin Kline) whom his henchman Puck (Stanley Tucci) has turned into a donkey-headed man. He also decides to have Puck iron out the four lovers' romantic troubles with the same potion. But of course, hijinks ensue.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is another one of Shakespeare's plays that REALLY needs to be seen before it's read -- and as adaptations go, this movie is a pretty good one. The story floats along in an enchanted haze of fairy magic, forest groves, and lots of body glitter and plaster wings (just work REALLY hard to suspend your disbelief!).

The scriptwriters also adapt Shakespeare's poetry beautifully ("Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,/That the rude sea grew civil at her song"). But there's also plenty of his hilarious dialogue ("Since lion vile hath here deflowered my dear..." "DEVOURED!") and equally hilarious problems, such as when both guys who were once in love with Hermia are enchanted to be madly in love with Helena. Even the fairies provide some comic relief (Oberon's oft-used "This is all your fault!" expression, usually aimed at Puck).

The cast seems a bit too Hollywood at first glance, but they're fairly good once you get into the story. Bale and West are excellent as the high-spirited, intensely jealous young men, Friel is both feisty and sweet as Hermia, and Kline is suitably hilarious as Nick Bottom ("Let me play the moon!"). Flockhart is a mild drawback, though -- she looks like she's being devoured by her dress and wig.

But the best performance here is Pfeiffer as the haughty, sensual Titania; few actresses have the beauty and presence for this role, and she has it. And both Everett and Tucci are excellent as the languid Oberon and a decidedly middle-aged-looking Puck.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream" is a shimmering little concoction of magic, romantic mayhem and fairy squabbling -- good acting, solid adaptation, and really gorgeous Italian settings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is magical., 4 Nov 2013
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This review is from: A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
I don't know that there is anything more to say. I have seen a good many productions of The Dream, but this one is just magical, and uses the opportunities that film affords to the full.
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A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999]
A Midsummer Night's Dream [DVD] [1999] by Michael Hoffman (DVD - 2002)
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