Fair Verona, where Romeo (Booth) of the Montagues meets Juliet (Steinfeld) of the Capulets and the pair fall in love despite their families feud. The course of true love does not run smooth
Adapted by Julian Fellowes and filmed on location in Italy, this attempts to restore respectability to the Bard’s doomed romance after the hyper-colour pop of Baz Luhrman’s take. Instead it drags, despite the exceptionally inventive supporting cast – Damian Lewis’ Capulet and Paul Giamatti’s Friar are funny and tragic in equal measure.
In reaching for naturalism Steinfeld in particular sometimes slurs the dialogue, and the use of authentic Renaissance buildings is undermined by anachronistic Baroque refurbishments. While Fellowes’ script restores oft-cut scenes (the duel with Paris among them) there are unnecessary curlicues (a tournament to open) and little sense of relish in reinventing the greatest love story ever told.
Slow moving and staid, this will leave you longing for Luhrmans energy and Zefferellis sense of sweep.