Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (1990)
June 21, 2018 8:37 PM - Subscribe

Two minor characters from the play 'Hamlet' stumble around unaware of their scripted lives and unable to deviate from them.
posted by rhizome (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
A great favorite of mine. As much as I enjoy the serious roles Oldman has done for most of his career (both villainous and otherwise), I'm sad he hasn't done as many comic roles, because he definitely has the chops.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:54 AM on June 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

I'm sad he hasn't done as many comic roles, because he definitely has the chops.

Lots of British actors known more for serious or even villainous roles seem to be able to do this with a light, almost casual touch. Alan Rickman's turn in Dogma qualifies, I think. Patrick Stewart in Extras, the London Olympics ticket scalper sketch, and the movie version of Jeffrey. I can't think of any comedies that Ian McKellen has done off the top of my head, but he was great on SNL, ditto Jeremy Irons.

Anyway, I liked this movie a lot. Bonus: an appearance by the future Jorah on Game of Thrones, Iain Glen, as Hamlet.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:44 AM on June 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Turning a stage play into a film is always a challenge. Especially one that's all about language and questions of being (and not-to-being). But letting Stoppard direct was wise. He makes great choices to make his script cinematic: the framing with the troupe of actors, the tennis court, etc. He never lets the staging upstage the words, but there's enough going on to not feel like a filmed play.

I'd love to see him direct a version of Arcadia!
posted by rikschell at 12:01 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this film! I've played the question game many times.

Have you?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:36 PM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

I saw this in high school film class. This is not the movie to watch in a dark cold theater after lunch.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:15 PM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:43 PM on June 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

Who hasn’t?

(I seriously love this movie. I need to rewatch!)
posted by greermahoney at 11:24 PM on June 23, 2018

Watching this a bit closer now, I'd love to see this on the stage. The production concept of this is incredible how it transforms a stage into movie space, I feel like it's easy to see how it would look on a stage just from seeing the movie. And I like how there are stagey props here and there, like the cannonball that cuts a perfect circle through an empty barrel, and how the movie is weirdly kind of Inception-like in that way. As entertaining as it is on its own, I think every time I watch it I lament not knowing Hamlet better. This is Stoppard's only director credit, so I wonder if he was just like "Ok, I've done it now." Gary Oldman's got good hair in this.

It's fun to remember back to this being the shit when it came out. I was college-aged, which was the perfect age for this indie cinema renaissance era, and I was living in a college town with some pretty good repertory/indie movie theaters.
posted by rhizome at 9:32 PM on February 9, 2019

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