Ophelia (2018 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Claire McCarthy|
|Produced by||Daniel Bobker|
|Screenplay by||Semi Chellas|
by William Shakespeare
by Lisa Klein
|Music by||Steven Price|
|Edited by||Luke Dunkley|
Bert Marcus Film
|Distributed by||IFC Films|
Ophelia is a 2018 British-American romantic drama film directed by Claire McCarthy and written by Semi Chellas about the character of the same name from William Shakespeare's play Hamlet. Based on the novel by Lisa Klein, the film follows the story of Hamlet from Ophelia's perspective. It stars Daisy Ridley in the title role, alongside Naomi Watts, Clive Owen, George MacKay, Tom Felton and Devon Terrell.
The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. It had a limited release on June 28, 2019, followed by a digital release on July 2, 2019 by IFC Films, to mixed reviews with Ridley's performance being widely acclaimed.
As a rebellious and motherless child, Ophelia (Daisy Ridley) is taken into Elsinore Castle by Queen Gertrude (Naomi Watts) as one of her most trusted ladies-in-waiting. Soon enough, Ophelia captures the affections of the young Prince Hamlet (George MacKay). A passionate romance kindles between the two in secret as the kingdom is on the brink of war amidst its own political intrigue and betrayal. When Hamlet’s father is murdered and the prince’s wits begin to unravel into an insatiable quest for vengeance, Ophelia sharply navigates the rules of power in Denmark all while struggling to choose between her true love and her own life.
- Daisy Ridley as Ophelia
- Mia Quiney as Young Ophelia
- Naomi Watts as Gertrude / Mechtild
- Anna Rust as Young Mechtild
- Clive Owen as Claudius
- George MacKay as Hamlet
- Jack Cunningham-Nuttall as Young Hamlet
- Tom Felton as Laertes
- Devon Terrell as Horatio
- Dominic Mafham as Polonius
- Daisy Head as Christina
On May 4, 2016, it was announced that Daisy Ridley and Naomi Watts would star in the drama film Ophelia based on the character of same name by William Shakespeare, the film would be based on the novel by Lisa Klein which Claire McCarthy would direct based on the script by Semi Chellas. Covert Media would finance the film, while Daniel Bobker and Ehren Kruger would produce the film along with Sarah Curtis. Bert Marcus is also executive producing the film.
Filming began in April 2017, with a first look image released in May. After three months, principal production wrapped on July 6, 2017. Academy Award winning composer Steven Price signed on to compose the musical score.
It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2018. In February 2019, IFC Films acquired the US distribution rights to the film. It was released on theaters at June 28, 2019. A digital release was followed shortly on July 2, 2019.
The film received mixed reviews, praising the production set, direction, and the performances, mostly Ridley, but criticizing the writing. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 60% based on 112 reviews. The site's critics consensus reads: "Flawed yet intriguing, Ophelia uses Hamlet as the starting point for a noble attempt to offer a misunderstood character long-overdue agency". Metacritic gave it a score of 60 based on 22 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Additional reviews cited that the film is "moving, intoxicating, haunting: the most visually pleasurable film so far this year," and that it's "real entertainment," as "Daisy Ridley does first-rate work in the title role." Other publications also praised Ridley citing that "Daisy Ridley may have been born to play these types of roles because Ophelia is strong and powerful, just like Rey," and she gives a "beautiful performance."  Rotund Reviews states that they "can’t praise this film enough and highly recommends checking it out." Film Frenzy states that the film "offers an imaginative retelling of an acknowledged masterpiece from an alternate POV" and it's "definitely worth seeing and admiring.  Flixist also said that the film is "compelling," "visually striking" and the "score was one of [his] favourite parts of the film: compelling, forceful, unique."  RogerEbert.com praised the film stating that it contains "courage, intelligence, integrity, and agency"  and The Wrap agrees that it's a "lush, intelligent adaptation." 
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