I re-watched Shakespeare in Love yesterday with a friend of mine who had never seen it and, despite all of the hate it and Gwyneth get from the blogs, it still holds up today as fresh, funny, romantic, and one of my favorite films of all time. The ensemble is alive and manages to get the most out of a master piece of a script. I'll never understand those who hate Gwyneth Paltrow's performance in favor of the more predictable and less-interesting role that Cate Blanchett had in Elizabeth. I'm a big Blanchett fan but, compared to Shakespeare in Love, Elizabeth does not hold up at all.
Saving Private Ryan was obviously the front-runner in 1998 so Shakespeare's win was a surprise to everyone. It's certainly a good movie, great even, but it is filled with those war cliches and the ensemble (Vin Diesel... really?) cannot match that of Shakespeare in Love. Also, being more inclined to the actresses, I have to say "Where are the ladies!?" when I watch Saving Private Ryan. If Spielberg had lost the directing Oscar to Madden that year I could understand that the statuette was completely bought by the Weinsteins, but Saving Private Ryan got its due as did Shakespeare in Love, the best motion picture of 1998.
So all of you out there that hate this performance and Gwyneth in general, just re-watch the film and you'll see the magic still on screen 11 years later.