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Ridley is simply extraordinary, and she and MacKay give us a younger, lustier Ophelia and Hamlet than we usually get on the big screen.
The Hollywood Reporter
This vigorous, colorful and clever melodrama smartly rethinks both the play and the character, making her a far more proactive figure than Shakespeare did in addition to entirely reimagining her fate.
Ophelia is an amazing movie that puts a positive feminist spin on a very familiar story. I’d love to see more classic stories retold from a female perspective like this one, written by women and directed by women.
New York Magazine (Vulture)
This is the ultimate female take-back-the-narrative movie, and frankly a lot of it is silly and sophomoric. But it’s also juicy and fun.
The best part of Ridley’s performance is her plodding, heavy-footed walk that reminds us this well-groomed lady is still a stubborn child underneath her fancy dress. She has a blank, open face that absorbs the court’s machinations and reflects little back until she decides to act insane.
Director McCarthy stages a red shadow pantomime that’s the best filmed version of “the play within a play.” Ever.
McCarthy’s film, based on Lisa Klein’s 2006 novel of the same name, takes its best ideas (and its best performers) and traps them in a cheap narrative that would will likely rank among the worst of many Shakespearean adaptations. It’s such a good idea on paper, rendered totally inert on the screen.
The film also has plenty of faults. One of the main problems is that Ophelia is still under-written.
The Film Stage
Even if the conceit is faulty, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for this film to rework this material into an intelligent riff on the play. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t.
This film looks absolutely gorgeous, but apart from its production design it is basically a disaster.
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