Staff Pick: Zeffirelli’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the Wexner Center

From the April 19, 2012 edition

Before Franco Zeffirelli came out with his version of Shakespeare’s popular play about young love, many renditions of the tragedy starred Romeos and Juliets who were, frankly, not very young. In 1968, Zeffirelli bucked the trend by interviewing hundreds of teenage actors before settling on Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey to play the lead roles. The two adolescents capture what it’s like to fall in love for the first time so perfectly: overpowering joy, wide-eyed naivete, ferocious intensity. Between their performances and Zeffirelli’s carefully selected color palette, it’s an almost painfully beautiful film.