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Tuesday, February 2, 1999 Published at 14:04 GMT


In love with Shakespeare

Gwyneth Paltrow: Won best actress at the Golden Globes

Shakespeare in Love is causing a sensation at cinemas on both sides of the Atlantic, shooting to the top of the British box office chart as well as rising back up the US movie charts.

Takings in Britain have grossed over £1.8m since it opened on Friday, outdoing recent home-grown successes such as The Full Monty, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Four Weddings And A Funeral.

The movie, which stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes and Dame Judi Dench, had a London premiere two weeks ago and opened at 300 cinemas nationwide on Friday.

Warm reviews and success at the Golden Globe awards are thought to have boosted Shakespeare In Love's showing at the cinemas.

Jumping up US chart

[ image: Joseph Fiennes: Plays the young William Shakespeare]
Joseph Fiennes: Plays the young William Shakespeare
The film won best comedy, while Paltrow won best actress and Sir Tom Stoppard and Marc Norman won best screenplay. The awards are seen as an indicator of what will win at the Oscars in March.

In the US, the attention helped the film jump three positions to become the country's fifth-most popular film, even though it showed on a comparatively small 759 screens. Its nearest rivals are being shown on at least 2,000 screens.

The film has so far grossed around $30m in the US since its release in December.

Shakespeare in Love - made in the UK, but funded with US money - is a fictional episode in the life of William Shakespeare, played by Joseph Fiennes.

In it, he suffers writer's block as he struggles to write his latest work Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter. But he meets Viola - played by Gwyneth Paltrow - and love blossoms as the play takes shape.

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