Shakespeare In Love is an often maligned film for defeating Saving Private Ryan, though it was the other World War II epic that deserved the notice above all but I digress. As is often the case hatred is blinding since the film has some clearly exceptional qualities. The production design, costumes and score are all magnificent. Now there is something a bit odd about the film for me. In that I rather like the elements, that don't really have anything to do with the with IN LOVE part of the title. I thoroughly enjoy the world created around the Globe theater with the actors, and the money men. There is a lot of fun to be had there. It is the film's more serious minded elements I find less successful, though not really bad either. A major problem is Joseph Fiennes is not a terribly charismatic actor and does not carry us with the sort of ease of a truly great romantic lead. The romantic plot has some stodgy bits particularly in regards to Colin Firth in a thankless role as a one note villain. Again I don't believe these elements to be terrible, and there is fun to be had here. An all time great best picture winner, no, but a bad film, also no.