Urban Cinefile
"I thought: well, you can learn at NIDA or you can go and learn in the real thing. I guess I chose the latter, and fuck, I'm glad I did that"  -Toni Collette
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Sunday May 20, 2018 

Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE



Hermia (Anna Friel) and Lysander (Dominic West) run away into the forest to escape Hermia’s father Egeus (Bernard Hill) who demands that Hermia marries Demetrius (Christian Bale). Demetrius pursues Hermia, followed by Helena (Calista Flockhart), who adores Demetrius. The foursome find themselves near the secret home of the fairies, where fairy trickster Puck (Stanley Tucci) administers a secret love potion, causing the lovers to mix and match with outrageous results. Meanwhile a band of actors rehearsing a play in the woods are interrupted when its star actor Bottom (Kevin Kline) becomes a pawn in the love battles between Oberon (Rupert Everett), King of the Fairies, and Titania (Michelle Pfeiffer), his Queen.

Review by Louise Keller:
Visually stunning, Midsummer Night's Dream magically weaves Shakespeare's words into an entertaining and imaginative world that is accessible to all. Shot in the exquisite ancient settings of Tuscany, where the cobbled pavements and splendid architecture add their own magic. 

The richness of the settings is enhanced by the emotional power of a magnificent score, liberally enhanced with Mendelssohn, Puccini and Verdi. Michael Hoffman has created real and tangible characters with care and craft, bringing the splendour of this best known Shakespeare comedy to the screen. 

Rupert Everett and Kevin Kline are stand outs, while Stanley Tucci's impish Puck delights and Michelle Pfeiffer has never looked more beautiful. There's atmosphere a plenty, as the tales of tangled relationships are skillfully integrated. 

But best of all, despite the sophistication of the production, visual effects and splendid settings, the simplicity of Shakespeare's famous play are well showcased and do not disappoint; watch out for a scene stealing Sam Rockwell, as Thisbe in the play within the play. Following the success of Shakespeare in Love, Midsummer Night's Dream will appeal to a broad cross section of movie-goers - from lovers of cinema, to those who could be drawn by such casting as television actress, Calista Flockhart. 

From the natural beauty of a poppy field in bloom, to the ethereal wonders of an enchanted fairyland, Midsummer Night's Dream sprinkles its magic delectably and with great charm. Feast your senses on this comedy of errors, where all's well that ends well.

Published June 24, 2004

Email this article


CAST: Kevin Kline, Michelle Pfeiffer, Rupert Everett, Stanley Tucci, Calista Flockheart, Anna Friel, Christian Bale, Dominic West, David Strathairn, Sophie Marceau, Sam Rockwell, Roger Rees, John Sessions, Bernard Hill

DIRECTOR: Michael Hoffman

SCRIPT: Michael Hoffman (from William Shakespeare’s play)

RUNNING TIME: 121 minutes

PRESENTATION: widescreen


DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 28, 2004

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2018