On Movies & Movie Watching: My Sunday Afternoon Movie Selection – ‘Romeo and Juliet’


(C) 1968, 2023 Paramount Pictures and The Criterion Collection

It’s late afternoon here in Lithia, Florida, on Sunday, March 12, 2023. I’m off to a late start with this post because I decided to change things up and watch a movie in the early afternoon rather than wait till nighttime.

A few days ago – before I went down the rabbit hole of revising Reunion: A Story – I posted my latest To Be Watched (TBW) list for the weekend of March 10-12. It was not a long list – it consisted of just three titles, which also happened to be the latest Blu-rays I ordered or pre-ordered at Amazon. They are:

  • The Fabelmans (2022)
  • Devotion (2022)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1968)

I wanted to watch a movie on the big TV in the family room; I spend too much time in my bedroom/study, and everyone else was gone at the time, so I had the “nice” set to myself. I also didn’t have to worry about competing for the use of the 50” HDTV set with the home theater sound system with my housemates.

I can’t watch Devotion on the family room set – Paramount Home Entertainment did not include a 2K high-definition disc with the 4K UHD Blu-ray – and I wasn’t in the mood for a Steven Spielberg movie, so I ended up watching Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, which was originally released when I was five years old back in ’68.

I had never seen it before, even though it has been available on home media since VHS was the hot video format in the U.S. consumer market 40 years ago. I know I didn’t see it in 12th grade when my English teacher covered the “Shakespeare Unit” – we watched The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth instead. And to be honest, it wasn’t until 2014 or so that I started getting “into” Shakespeare, so even though I knew about Zeffirelli’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, I never made it a priority to get it on any format – until now.

Since it’s already evening on this first day of Daylight Savings Time, I will not review Romeo and Juliet in this post. I will say it is a great movie with excellent production values, lovely location cinematography, good performances from the entire cast, and solid directing by Zeffirelli, who also directed The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet.

I even got misty-eyed at the end; although I knew how Romeo and Juliet ends – it’s one of the Bard’s tragedies, after all – I was still moved. Not just by the denouement of Shakespeare’s tale of star-cross’d lovers, but also by the earnest performances by actors Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey.

I should go and rustle up some dinner, so I’ll wrap this post up here. Until next time, Dear Reader, stay safe and healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

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Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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