William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
Source: Catholic News Service
Visually rich, if overly somber, adaptation by director Michael Radford of Shakespeare's classic play about Shylock (Al Pacino), a Jewish moneylender in the 16th century who lends the merchant Antonio (Jeremy Irons) a sum of money, and then insists on the contractual "pound of (Antonio's) flesh" when the money cannot be repaid by the promised date. Pacino is in good form and, as in most modern stage productions of the piece, makes Shylock as sympathetic as possible, showing him as deserving of his desired revenge after years of mistreatment by the Christians, while Irons, Joseph Fiennes as the merchant's young friend, Bassanio, for whom the money was really borrowed, and Lynn Collins as Portia, Bassanio's betrothed, who impersonates a male barrister to plead Antonio's case, provide solid support. Some nudity, sexual innuendo. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted
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