Romeo & Juliet (2013 film)

Romeo & Juliet is a 2013 internationally co-produced romantic drama film adaptation of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy of the same name written by Julian Fellowes and directed by Carlo Carlei. The film stars Douglas Booth, Hailee Steinfeld, Damian Lewis, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ed Westwick, Stellan Skarsgård and Paul Giamatti. The film opened in the United Kingdom and the United States on 11 October 2013. Like Franco Zeffirelli's adaptation of Shakespeare's tragedy, this film uses the traditional setting of Renaissance Verona,[6] but, unlike previous major film adaptations, only follows the plot and uses only some of the dialogue as written by Shakespeare. This has led to several critics denouncing the film's advertising as misleading and losing the essence of the play.[7] The film grossed $3 million.

Romeo & Juliet
US theatrical poster
Directed byCarlo Carlei
Produced by
Screenplay byJulian Fellowes
Based onRomeo and Juliet
by William Shakespeare
Music byAbel Korzeniowski
CinematographyDavid Tattersall
Edited byPeter Honess
Distributed by
Release date
  • 11 October 2013 (2013-10-11) (United Kingdom)[2]
Running time
118 minutes[3]
Box office$3 million[5]


During the late Middle Ages in Verona, two wealthy families, the Montagues and Capulets, have been feuding for centuries. One day at the market place, the feuding families start a brawl which infuriates the Prince and he threatens that if the peace of Verona is disturbed again, he shall take their lives. Meanwhile, Romeo, a young Montague, reveals that he is in love with Lord Capulet's niece, Rosaline. Romeo's cousin, Benvolio persuades him to forget Rosaline but Romeo rebuffs him.

Later that night, there is a party held by Lord Capulet. Romeo sneaks in with Benvolio and Mercutio hoping to meet Rosaline. Instead, Romeo sees Juliet who is Lord Capulet's daughter and falls in love with her. Juliet feels the same and they share a dance. They go together to a quiet place and share a passionate kiss. Juliet's Nurse interrupts and when Romeo talks to the nurse, he discovers that Juliet is a Capulet.

After the party ends, Romeo sneaks into Juliet's garden secretly where he witnesses Juliet expressing her love for him. He climbs the balcony and they quickly decide to get married the next day. Romeo seeks help from Friar Laurence to wed them and the Friar agrees thinking that their love may end the violent war between Capulets and Montagues. They perform the ceremony and afterwards Juliet returns home. Romeo catches up with Mercutio and Benvolio but they meet Tybalt and his men on the way. This starts another violent brawl during which Tybalt stabs Mercutio. Romeo is enraged and runs after Tybalt seeking revenge. They fight and Romeo slays Tybalt. As the result of this loss, the Prince banishes Romeo from Verona.

Meanwhile, both families are filled with grief over their losses, especially Juliet. The Friar sends Romeo to Juliet so he can spend one last night with her. Romeo goes to Juliet and they consummate their marriage. Romeo leaves in haste the next morning. But Juliet is shocked when her father brings news of planning to wed Juliet with Count Paris. Juliet is resistant but her father threatens to disown her if she does not wed Paris. Juliet goes to Friar Laurence for help, threatening to kill herself if the Friar does not have a solution. The Friar in return, gives her a potion that will put her in a deathlike sleep temporarily while he will inform Romeo about this and they shall run away together to Mantua. Juliet drinks the potion that night. Her parents are devastated when they find her next morning, and instead of her marriage, her funeral is planned. During the funeral, Benvolio sees Juliet and thinks she is dead and immediately runs off to tell Romeo.

Friar's letter however, does not reach Romeo and Benvolio tells Romeo that Juliet is dead. Romeo is shocked and devastated and plans to take his life. He buys poison and goes to Juliet. Paris tries to stop him, but is killed in a sword fight. Romeo kisses Juliet one last time, then he drinks the potion unaware that Juliet has awakened. Juliet is overjoyed to see him and they kiss but Romeo suddenly collapses. When Juliet finds out that Romeo took poison, he dies in her arms. The Friar arrives to find a heartbroken Juliet weeping over Romeo's dead body. He hears some guards coming and leaves to hold them off, trying to persuade Juliet to come with him, without success. When Juliet hears the approaching watchmen, she finds and stabs herself with Romeo's dagger. The Friar returns to finds them both dead.

Their funeral is held together and the Capulets and Montagues finally reconcile, ending their feud. During the procession, Benvolio steps forward and joins their hands.



Production and casting

Ed Westwick was the first actor to read the script.[8] In April 2011, Hailee Steinfeld was said to be in talks for the lead role as Juliet in this adaptation.[9] Owing to Steinfeld's young age, there was some concern she would be asked to appear nude in the film. Director Carlo Carlei explained, "there was a lovemaking scene that included nudity for the married Romeo and Juliet. This script was written with a 20-year-old actress in mind. As soon as Hailee Steinfeld was cast, all nudity and lovemaking have been excised from the script. It will be romantic and age-appropriate for a 14-year-old."[10] Julian Fellowes added, "We did feel it would be nice to have romantic, married love, and that purity was an important part of the film. They don't make love until they have been married."[6] The role of Romeo was found in June 2011 when Douglas Booth was cast, beating 300 other actors who were interested in the part.[11] Paul Wesley had been offered the role of Count Paris,[12] but it was announced in February 2012 that Tom Wisdom would play him.[13]

Principal photography started on 3 February 2012 in Italy.[14] The film was shot at the grotto Sacro Speco in Subiaco; Mantua;[6] Caprarola, Lazio; Cinecittà, Rome; and in Verona. The first pictures of the set were posted on Italian newspaper Gazzetta di Mantova on 14 February 2012.[15][16] Steinfeld finished filming her scenes on 7 March 2012.[17]


Theatrical release and premiere

Relativity Media was paid for by the producers to release the movie in North America on 11 October 2013, while the film was released through D Films in Canada on the same date.[1][18] The premiere was held in Hollywood on 24 September 2013 at the ArcLight Hollywood.[19] It was released in Australia on 13 February 2014.

Home media

Romeo & Juliet was released on DVD on February 4, 2014 by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.


Critical reception

The film holds a 24% approval rating and an average score of 4.54/10 on aggregate review site Rotten Tomatoes based on 89 reviews; the consensus reads: "Shakespeare's classic romance gets a so-so adaptation that's short on passion and energy."[20] The film has a 41 out of 100 rating on Metacritic based on 30 reviews, indicating "mixed reviews".[21]


Golden Trailer Awards 2014
Award Category Nominee Result
Golden Trailer Best Romance PosterRelativity Media and Blood & Chocolate Productions Ltd.Nominated
International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA) 2013
Award Category Nominee Result
IFMCA Award Film Score of the Year, Best Original Score for a Drama Film and Film Music Composition of the YearAbel Korzeniowski For the composition track "A Thousand Times Goodnight".Won


  • L'Amor Dona Ch'Io Te Porto Anonymous, late 15th Century - Performed by Ensemble La Rossignol
  • Tourdion (Pierre Attaignant) - Performed by Ensemble La Rossignol
  • Skin - Written and Performed by Zola Jesus


  1. Ford, Rebecca (11 June 2013). "Relativity Acquires U.S. Rights to 'Romeo & Juliet' Starring Hailee Steinfeld". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 August 2013.
  2. "Romeo & Juliet".
  3. "ROMEO & JULIET (PG)". Entertainment Film Distributors. British Board of Film Classification. 24 September 2013. Retrieved 24 September 2013.
  4. "Romeo & Juliet (2013)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  5. "Romeo and Juliet (2013)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  6. Bamigboye, Baz (22 March 2012). "Fellowes' Romeo will put Twilight stars in the shade". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  7. Duffin, Claire (1 September 2013). "Romeo, Romeo, what's Julian Fellowes done to you?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 September 2013.
  8. Cunningham, Erin (11 October 2013). "Ed Westwick on Life After Gossip Girl". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
  9. Kit, Borys (7 April 2011). "Hailee Steinfeld in Talks to Star in Indie 'Romeo & Juliet' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  10. Krager, Dave (10 June 2011). "'Romeo and Juliet' director: No nude scene for Hailee Steinfeld". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  11. Chitwood, Adam (21 June 2011). "Douglas Booth Cast as Romeo Opposite Hailee Steinfeld in ROMEO AND JULIET". Collider. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  12. Rosenfield, Kat (19 July 2011). "Romeo May Have Competition In 'Vampire Diaries' Star Paul Wesley". MTV. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. Brooks, Brian (1 February 2012). "Tom Wisdom Set For 'Romeo and Juliet'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  14. Labecque, Jeff (3 February 2012). "Hailee Steinfeld begins 'Romeo and Juliet' in Italy". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 February 2012.
  15. "Romeo & Juliet, Mantova diventa set della tragedia di Shakespeare - Fotogalleria". Gazetta Di Mantova (in Italian). 14 February 2012. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  16. "Photos of Douglas Booth & Hailee Steinfeld on 'Romeo & Juliet' Set". Page to Premiere Network. 16 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2012.
  17. Steinfeld, Hailee [@HaileeSteinfeld] (7 March 2012). "Bitter sweet day today" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 March 2012 via Twitter.
  18. Vlessing, Etan (13 October 2013). "D Films Picks Up 'Romeo & Juliet' for Canadian Release". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  19. Smarp (25 September 2013). "Ed Westwick in ArcLight Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA, USA". Archived from the original on 25 September 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  20. "Romeo and Juliet (2013)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  21. "Romeo & Juliet Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
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