Movie review: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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A Midsummer Night's DreamReviewed by Sylvia Wendell

I saw “William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream” recently, and it is wonderful. This version is written and directed by Michael Hoffman, to whom much credit. His touch is deft, charming, and as sunny as his Italian scenery, with just a hint of darkness for contrast. I was particularly impressed by his vision of the fairy kingdom at the center of this comedy. Nothing cutsie here. These creatures are powerful and inhuman, beautiful or grotesque, and they amuse themselves by toying with humans. (They are fascinated by such recent inventions as bicycles, record players, and operatic arias).

The acting is uniformly excellent. Kevin Kline’s performance as Bottom has been widely and justly praised. But Michelle Pfeiffer is every bit as good as Queen Titania. It’s a role that requires a drop-dead gorgeous woman, but she shows she can really act, too.

In fact, I loved everything about the film except that title. Four stars.