Romeo e Giulietta
Ed Westwick, Hailee Steinfeld, Paul Giamatti, Laura Morante, Sandra Paternostro, Lesley Manville, Stellan Skarsgard, Tomas Arana, Nathalie Rapti Gomez, Clive Riche, Douglas Booth, Natascha McElhone, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christian Cooke
Julian Fellowes, from William Shakespeare
Amber Entertainment, Indiana Production, Rai Cinema, Swarovski Entertainment, Echo Lake Entertainment
festivals & awards:
Montague and Capulet families use any excuse to publicly fight in the streets of Verona, but young Romeo of the Montagues is not interested - he is too much in love with Rosaline, a cousin of the Capulets, a romance which his cousin Benvolio urges him not to pursue. When the Capulets hold a masked ball on their estate, Romeo risks all to secure an invitation. At the ball, Romeo instantly forgets his feelings for Rosaline when he spies Juliet; she is likewise love-struck when she sees Romeo. Knowing they will incur the wrath of their respective families, Romeo and Juliet embark on a secret love affair, as overwhelming and intense as the grim fate that is in store for them...
The challenge was to make a film close to the essence of Shakespeare’s masterpiece yet devoid of all the stiffness that young people associate with the classics. I wanted to make a modern, fast-paced tale. The secret yet untamed passion of Romeo and Juliet symbolises the eternal opposition between youth, with its innocence, and adulthood, with all its limitations and prejudices, and this is why the story still resonates in the imagination of audiences around the world. I believe that changing the setting of the film from medieval times to the Renaissance adds romantic quality to it, filling the eyes of the audience with the richness and the color palette of the frescoes dating to that extraordinary century. Like works of art by Italian “maestri” Raphael and Botticelli, the characters of Romeo and Juliet have maintained their purity and their beauty intact. The cities of Mantua and Verona, with their lavish palaces and squares, offer the perfect frame for each scene. Going back to the original locations where the story took place is the perfect way to bring Romeo and Juliet’s unforgettable story to 21st-century audiences.