Looking for Richard

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1

Does the mention of Shakespeare make you yawn? Were you baffled by his plays you were forced to read in school? If so, then you would be surprised by LOOKING FOR RICHARD, directed by, produced by and starring Al Pacino. This docudrama dissects Shakespeare's most frequently staged play, Richard III. Not even Hamlet has been as popular. As Pacino and his crew are preparing to bring Richard to the screen, they decide to include us, the audience, in the whole process of filmmaking. Shakespeare's work becomes more understandable by Pacino explaining the historical background of the play and by our observing the actors as they read the script, argue about the correct interpretation of their roles, and then break into laughter. We realize they too find this icon of English literature difficult to grasp. Abruptly the working session will cut to the actual finished scene so we can watch the sinister drama of evil King Richard unfold. This fascinating, humorous and entertaining film experience makes Shakespeare viewer friendly.

The play itself is filled with dark, dastardly deeds as Richard arranges the murder of any and everyone who might prevent his becoming king. Richmond, who ultimately defeats Richard, is shown praying for God's will to be done before he goes into war. Some stabbings and the final battle scene include some bloody scenes; however, most of the injuries are incurred off-camera with only the dead bodies shown. Our slightly negative acceptability rating refers to a few f-words and regular profanities. These are spoken among the filmmakers during their working sessions. There is no nudity or sexual content, except for a passionate embrace after Richard pleas for Lady Anne's (Winona Ryder) love. Still the only gratuitous objectionable elements are the obscenities and profanities.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Fox Searchlight, P.O. Box 900, Beverly Hills, CA 90213

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (3) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (2) times (f-word)

Profanity: Few (3) timesRegular 2 (G, C), Exclamatory 1

Violence: Several timesModerate (stabbings, battle wounds with bow and arrows)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Once (passionate kiss)

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teenagers and adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.