Shakespeare by way of ... Beckett? Stoppard adapts his own meta-play for this meta-film, taking two side characters from Hamlet - Rosencrantz (Gary Oldman) and Guildenstern (Tim Roth) - and having them banter, play endless word games and generally fuss about while the 'real story' happens in the periphery. As successful as this has been on the stage, I don't believe it translates particularly well to the screen - the very act of recording the material seems to openly defy the existential premise of Stoppard's work, further separating the viewing audience from the two bit players. Only Richard Dreyfuss' troupe leader has any discernible screen presence (and perhaps intentionally so): all the world's a stage, you know.
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
Director: Tom Stoppard
Year Released: 1990