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A Mid Summer Night's Dream movie


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I watched the one on Amazon Prime (starring Lindsay Duncan and Alex Jennings) with my kids this winter, and it definitely earns its PG-13 rating. Most of it flew right over the heads of my 3- and 6-year-old (such as a few brief homoerotic scenes) but I jumped for the remote when Titania had her legs wrapped around Bottom and he was, um, braying. I would definitely NOT recommend that one for an 8- and 10-year-old. Sorry to not have a positive recommendation for you!

 

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My girls watched the one with Kevin Klein, Michelle Pfeiffer, Stanley Tucci, etc.  It was slightly risque in some parts - Titania is covered, but pretty much nude, in her bed with Bottom, and the Lovers are naked - but with all the important parts covered - when they are found in the forest.  This didn't bother us, but I mention it in case it may bother others.

 

My girls loved this movie, they've liked it better than the old, old Royal Shakespeare co one they saw with Judy Dench as Titania (!) all painted green. . . that one is certainly G-rated, but definitely doesn't fit the modern sensibility as well.

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My girls loved this movie, they've liked it better than the old, old Royal Shakespeare co one they saw with Judy Dench as Titania (!) all painted green. . . that one is certainly G-rated, but definitely doesn't fit the modern sensibility as well.

 

Before we did the homeschool production, my kids saw me watching a bit of that version and for a moment, I feared it was going to turn them off doing it at all.  It's just really, really weird.  I think they were all partaking in everything the 60's had to offer when they made it.

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There was one...I watched it back when I was maybe 12, 13? My mom rented it from our local library. It was an actual company doing the play, so not a movie, but a taped performance. We just about died laughing, the whole family. We loved it! 

And now I can't find it, don't know who did it or anything... :crying:

I've been hunting all over the internet for it.

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I remember watching the 1930s version with Mickey Rooney as Puck and Olivia de Haviland when I was in 5th or 6th grade in a language arts class.  It would have to have been pretty tame. And there seems to be a bunch of clips available for preview. 

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It depends entirely on what you consider appropriate.

 

Remember that the text of most of the Shakespeare stuff is just bawdy. It's baked right into the plays. And Midsummer Night's Dream is not an exception.

 

With that said, our favorite film version is the Kevin Kline one a couple of previous folks have mentioned. My kids loved that movie when they were little. The year they were three and six, we all dressed up as fairies for Halloween, because they both loved it so much. (My son used to call Bottom "Donkey Boy.")

 

It does have a little bit of nudity, and the original bawdy humor is intact, but it's pretty and fast-paced and very accessible for kids.

 

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The version I've seen that I liked best (other than the homeschool one I directed, of course!) was the one we saw last year at the STC.  The fight between the women ("Though she be little, she be fierce!") was an all out crazy mud fight.  The fairies had acrobatics on giant chandeliers.  It was a great show.  But, um, live, not a movie.

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The Kevin Kline one seems to be very accessible to children and helpful to gaining a love of Shakespeare for my son. It does have some nudity, but if that is okay with you, it is a fun version.  It is the only version I have seen that had the same feeling of magic as the first time I saw MSD done live in an outdoor summer theater.

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My dd loves the BBC Classics version. It's so good I forget I don't even like the story.

 

I know, right?  We've been living and breathing The Dream here because Shannon played Helena in a local production.  It's fun and magical and the kids did a wonderful job, but it's hard not to cringe at your 11 year old up on stage saying "I am your spaniel. Spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me, only give me leave, unworthy as I am, to love you!"

 

At the cast party after the last show, her director gave her a funny lecture on how Helena is *not* a good role model!  :lol:

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I know, right?  We've been living and breathing The Dream here because Shannon played Helena in a local production.  It's fun and magical and the kids did a wonderful job, but it's hard not to cringe at your 11 year old up on stage saying "I am your spaniel. Spurn me, strike me, neglect me, lose me, only give me leave, unworthy as I am, to love you!"

 

At the cast party after the last show, her director gave her a funny lecture on how Helena is *not* a good role model!  :lol:

 

 

Congratulations to Shannon!

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Congratulations to Shannon!

 

Thanks.  I know I'm biased, but I have to say out of a cast of 13, she was the only one who really "got" it - who understood the meaning of every word she said, who really became her character and who spoke the lines the way they were supposed to be spoken, not at all sing-songy.  She was also the only one who had the time and inclination to do scansion on her entire script!  I am so proud of her.

 

Anyway, this has really lit the fire of her interest in Shakespeare, poetry, and literature.  It helps that her role model, Emma Watson, just graduated from Brown with a degree in English Literature.  ;)   We're going to see and read as much Shakespeare as we can this summer.  

 

I can definitely recommend the recent production of Twelfth Night directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Kingsley, et al.  It is very funny and everyone keeps their clothes on at all times.

 

ETA: ok, there is one scene where Viola is changing into boy's clothes where I think I caught a flash of nipple - wardrobe malfunction? - but the kids didn't even notice.

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