From a World War II Macbeth in an Alan Ladd trench coat to a drug-dealing Shylock in an all-black Merchant of Venice set in Harlem, Shakespeare has been boldly “opened up” before. (A rock ’n’ roll Hamlet, anyone?) But a gay Romeo and Juliet, both played by military school cadets on their way to West Point, is a new one on me. It’s Private Romeo, a brave, controversial, not always successful, but hugely adventurous and highly liberated movie that offers a fresh take on the Bard in the age of same-sex marriage. Like it or not, you will not go away yawning.
From France, a gentle, uneven, but touching and true chronicle of the fight to save the life of a child with brain cancer called Declaration of War is doubly notable because the baby’s real-life mother is the film’s director, Valérie Donzelli, who also costars and coauthored the screenplay with the baby’s father, actor Jérémie Elkaïm. Although they are no longer together and are living their own separate personal lives, their story, fictionalized but still autobiographical, bonded them for life. Apparently, they are best friends whose dedicated collaboration was the only way they could tell this harrowing story. It’s a brave effort any way you slice it.
Wherefore art thou…socialite? Yes, add to the list of things that make you love New York (or cringe over the fact that you live here) an Upper East Side adaptation of Romeo & Juliet. The Capulets, nouveau riche; the Montagues, old money. Can you feel the drama?! Despite this modern frame, Theater Breaking Read More