The year's best picture, the delightful comedy "Shakespeare in Love," comes to video Tuesday. The fanciful film was propelled to its seven Academy Awards by an Oscar-winning original screenplay by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.
Best actress-winner Gwyneth Paltrow is Lady Viola and Joseph Fiennes is young Will Shakespeare, who suffers from writer's block because he lacks love and inspiration. The playwright finds them in the form of Lady Viola, who disguises herself as a man to audition for one of his plays.
When her identity is revealed, passions ignite and Will's pen flows again as he tries to complete his play through comedy, romance, duels, brawls and, mostly, his undying love.
The film also co-stars Geoffrey Rush, Ben Affleck and Judi Dench, who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress. The movie's three remaining Oscars came in the categories of art direction, costume design and original music or comedy score.
The video is priced for rental, although a re-pricing for collectors is expected late in the fall. The Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD, which is also being released Tuesday, is $29.95.
On the subject of great films that have won a heap of Oscars: MGM Home Entertainment, celebrating its 75th anniversary, has added eight great $14.95 videos to its Contemporary Classic Collection.
Contenders for anyone's top shelf:
Carrie (1976) stars Sissy Spacek, John Travolta and Piper Laurie in Brian DePalma's adaption of Stephen King's novel about a young woman whose powers enable her to destroy those who have wronged her.
Eight Men Out (1988), the story of baseball's Chicago Black Sox scandal, starring John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner and Christopher Lloyd.
Dead Man Walking (1995) stars Susan Sarandon as a nun who battles to save a killer, played by Sean Penn, on death row.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) stars Jodi Foster as a cunning FBI agent who engages a psychopath, played by Anthony Hopkins, to help her catch a serial killer.
Fargo (1996) stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant police chief solving a series of baffling killings. William Macy and Steve Buscemi co-star.
Ronin (1998) stars Robert DeNiro as a man who must recover a top-secret briefcase that underworld groups will stop at nothing to get.
Mississippi Burning (1988) stars Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as FBI agents searching for missing civil rights workers and finding a powder keg of bigotry and hatred.
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985) stars Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn as friends who embark on a thrilling game of espionage and sell CIA secrets to the KGB.