Italy/USA - 2013

director.gif (905 bytes)Carlo Carlei


Hailee Steinfeld - Juliet
Douglas Booth - Romeo
Paul Giamatti - Friar Laurence
Damian Lewis - Lord Capulet
Ed Westwick - Tybalt
Kodi Smit-McPhee - Benvolio
Stellan Skarsgård - Prince of Verona
Christian Cooke - Mercutio
Lesley Manville - The Nurse
Tomas Arana - Lord Montague
Laura Morante - Lady Montague
Tom Wisdom - Paris



October 11, 2013


In the fair city of Verona. Romeo and Juliet, the children of the feuding Montague and Capulet families, meet at a feast and fall deeply in love. Despite the sworn disdain their families hold for one another, they steal away and are secretly wed by Friar Laurence. It is not long, however, before trouble ensues… Unaware of his daughter’s transgressions, Lord Capulet, Juliet’s father, has arranged for Juliet to take the hand of Count Paris in marriage. Devastated and defiant Juliet seeks the counsel of Friar Laurence, who concocts a devious plan that will alter the lives of both families forever.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)PRODUCTION NOTES/IMAGES:

2/3/12: Principal photography has begun in Italy on "Romeo and Juliet", it was announced today by Ileen Maisel of Amber Entertainment and Nadja Swarovski of Swarovski Entertainment Ltd. Award-winning director Carlo Carlei directs from the script by Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park). Ileen Maisel, the lead producer, approached Julian Fellowes to adapt Shakespeare’s classic love story for a new generation.

“We are thrilled to be bringing this story to life with a vibrant new cast,” commented Amber Entertainment’s Ileen Maisel. “The support of Swarovski Entertainment has helped us to re-conceive this story for a new generation. As Shakespeare once said, “one man in his life plays many parts,” and we are honored to partner with Swarovski as they take on yet another role and make their first foray into motion picture production.”

Three time Oscar-winning costume designer Milena Canonero serves as co-producer. She will be involved in all visual aspects of the movie, having input in everything from wardrobe, hair and make-up to the art department. Peter Honess (LA Confidential) serves as editor and David Tattersall (Star Wars) as cinematographer on the production. Swarovski Entertainment and Echo Lake Entertainment are co-producing and co-financing the film.

button_box.gif (205 bytes)STELLAN:  "I only had a couple of days in it but the reason that I took it was I wanted to see if I, as a Swede, could master Shakespeare - I don’t think I managed (laughs). It’s not Shakespeare as it is some fakespeare as well since it is partly re-written by Julian Fellows. I think you will see an extremely beautiful film with fantastic setting and clothes and you will see Hailee Steinfeld shine."

button_box.gif (205 bytes)MOVIE STILLS:


button_box.gif (205 bytes)REVIEWS:

"What can you say about a 'Romeo and Juliet' that lacks heat, romance, eroticism, or lyricism? Mercifully, not much. Carlo Carlei’s version of Shakespeare’s warhorse never leaves the barn. Streamlined (i.e., dumbed down) by screenwriter Julian Fellowes, who has seen better days with 'Gosford Park' and 'Downton Abbey,' this adaptation will probably turn off the young audiences for whom it was apparently intended. Hailee Steinfeld’s Juliet is rather lovely and rather bland; Douglas Booth’s Romeo might have stepped out of a special Renaissance Faire edition of GQ."   ...Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor

"Carlei’s film is not particularly imaginative in terms of context, but it offers proof that this material never tarnishes, that with the right sort of movie magic, even a traditional telling can be thrilling. There are reasons Shakespeare’s work still resonates, and Romeo and Juliet provides quite a few of them. The filmmakers also had the brilliant idea of shooting much of the movie in Verona and Mantua, the play’s original settings, and the crumbling brick walls of the ancient cities cast a powerful spell."   ...Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

"The script, by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes, is a Wishbone-level synopsis of the play whose only major contributions involve slightly tweaking the ending and shortening the time frame. The romance is sexless, the passion impalpable. The protagonists are presented as pure romantic archetypes rather than complicated characters; everything that doesn’t fit that interpretation gets rushed through or downplayed."  ...Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club

"Italian director Carlo Carlei gives the tragedy an ornate but authentic backdrop (including scenes shot in the real Verona). Hailee Steinfeld (“True Grit”) and relative newcomer Douglas Booth make a passable Juliet and her Romeo, relatably modern but able to deliver their famous speeches without their eyes glazing over. Old pros tackle the supporting roles: Stellan Skarsgard as the Prince of Verona, Damian Lewis and Natasha McElhone as Lord and Lady Capulet, and (somewhat jarringly) Paul Giamatti as the well-meaning friar."  ...Marc Mohan, The Oregonian

"Ms. Steinfeld and Mr. Booth are nice to look at but are an awkward fit, no matter how attractively they go through the chaste motions. They look uneasy together (the difference in their age may be a reason), whether reciting Mr. Fellowes’s ornamented lines, hurtling into each other’s arms or locking lips."  ...Manohla Dargis, NY Times

"The settings ((real Verona churches, streets, painted palazzi) offer some visual compensation for a text dismally rewritten by Fellowes in clichés and crib-notes English and pedestrianly directed by Carlo Carlei. The older actors put on the best show they can, with Damian Lewis a rip-roaring Capulet. But the younger actors are dismal. They gabble, mumble, swallow their lines and are, in a few moments of mercy, inaudible altogether."  ...Nigel Andrews, The Financial Times

"Director Carlo Carlei and writer Julian Fellowes and a boatload of string instruments work too hard on comedy and gloom so devoid of surprise. Hitting all the same marks in a story everyone knows causes impatience, not swooning and heartbreak. It’s a shame no one came to the table with any ideas."  ...Matt Pais, RedEye Chicago

"A fairly faithful retelling of one of the world’s most well-known love stories, Romeo & Juliet is tasteful and straightforward, perhaps to a fault. While there’s nothing objectionable about director Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, the film’s overall pleasant, safe approach provides an inviting surface but never risks digging into the material. The story’s lovers are impassioned, but the telling is only lukewarm."  ...Tim Grierson, Screen International

"Carlos Carlei's film has many faults, but the score is outstandingly bad...  Fellowes, for his part, has taken a lot of the wit out of the soliloquies, and introduced some wince-inducing anachronisms. But mostly he just underwhelms. As Juliet, 15 year old Hailee Steinfeld races through most of her lines... On the plus side, the real-life, Veronese back-drops are awesome. And the male cast are as beautiful as the day."  ...Charlotte O'Sullivan, This is London

"It’s not that the movie isn’t great looking, with stunning sets, sword fights and a nice serving of horse play. But getting his baby-faced actors comfortable or compelling was beyond the director."  ...Film critic Roger Moore

"Julian Fellowes would be the first to admit he has taken a few liberties with Shakespeare in a new version of 'Romeo and Juliet'. He has trimmed and simplified while remaining faithful to the essence of one of the greatest love stories ever. The result is decent and perfectly respectable but lacks the soaring, swooning fireworks of Baz Luhrmann's swashbuckling approach or even the intensity of the admired Sixties version by Franco Zeffirelli."   ...Allan Hunter, Daily Express