Venice, 1596. Melancholy Antonio loves the youthful Bassanio, so when Bassanio asks for 3000 ducats, Antonio says yes before knowing it’s to sue for the hand of Portia. His capital tied up in merchant ships at sea, Antonio must go to Shylock, a Jewish moneylender he reviles. Shylock wraps his grudge in kindness, offering a three-month loan at no interest, but if not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of flesh. The Jew’s daughter elopes with a Christian, whetting Shylock’s hatred. While Bassanio’s away wooing Portia, Antonio’s ships founder, and Shylock demands his pound of flesh. With court assembled and a judgment due, Portia swings into action to save Bassanio’s friend.—IMDb
Michael Radford was born in New Delhi, India, to an English father and an Austrian mother. He grew up mainly in the Middle East, where his father served in the British Army, and was educated at Bedford School and at Worcester College, Oxford. At the age of 25, having been a teacher for a number of years in Edinburgh, he was accepted at the National Film School and became one of the first 25 students in its inaugural year.
Upon graduating in 1974 he embarked on a series of documentaries, mainly for the BBC. These included “The Madonna and the Volcano” (Grand Prix Nyon Documentary Festival 1976) and “Last Stronghold of the Pure Gospel”. In 1980 he directed his first feature film for BBC Scotland, entitled The White Bird Passes adapted from the novel by Jessie Kesson and winner of the Scottish Radio Industries Award in that year. It was the success of this collaboration that led to the writing and directing of Another Time, Another Place his first feature film… read more
Some admirable production and acting but the play is indeed problematic, or at least the adaptation thereof here. It takes its sweet time getting to its catharsis, with the bevy of uninteresting, lovey-dovey subplots leaving the genuinely tragic courtroom scenes and ending to be highlights few and far between; the prose itself is also disappointingly innocuous for Shakespeare’s standards. Not terrible but lacklustre.