Twelfth Night

1998

Twelfth Night

Critics Consensus

Director Trevor Nunn makes some questionable choices, but his stellar cast -- which includes Helena Bonham-Carter, Ben Kingsley, and Nigel Hawthorne -- more than rises to the material.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,793
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Movie Info

This loose adaptation of Shakespeare's enduring but seldom-filmed comedy of merry and ribald romantic mix-ups comes from Trevor Nunn, distinguished director for the Royal Shakespearean Theatre, and features some of Great Britain's finest actors. Nunn has wrought a few major changes to the tale, updating it to the late 19th century and setting it during autumn. The language has also been somewhat simplified. Following a terrible shipwreck, bedraggled Viola washes up on the shores of Illyria, a country at war with her own. Believing that her twin brother Sebastian has drowned, and knowing that as a woman she would not survive on her own, she whacks off her hair, dons a moustache and masquerades as Cesario, a boy. She gets a job working for the dashing Duke Orsino and as his page begins pitching woo to the lovely and recently widowed Lady Olivia. The trouble brews when Olivia finds herself falling in love, not with Orsino, but with Cesario/Viola who herself has fallen in love with Orsino. More trouble follows when Sebastian arrives.

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Critic Reviews for Twelfth Night

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (8)

Audience Reviews for Twelfth Night

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Twelfth Night is passable. While some of the performances are a bit silly, nothing about the film is terrible. Rather the problem is that the parts are not played with much harmony. However, Helena Bonham Carter's acting, as always, is delectable.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 07, 2012
    Okay passable Shakespeare like the type that you are usually forced to endure in a high school class but don't remember well beyond the exam on the subject.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2009
    I really enjoyied this adaptation. It was much more fun. I just really thought it was great!
    Marion R Super Reviewer
  • Dec 21, 2007
    Light-hearted Shakespeare just as it should be. Pretty much perfectly cast with each actor hitting all the right notes. Still like with most Shakespeare it will never match up to its source material but at least it goes for a fair balance between the theatrical and the cinematic.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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