Shakespeare in Love, winner of a Best Picture Oscar (over Saving Private Ryan, no less), paints a portrait of William Shakespeare as a playwright hopelessly in love with the star of his latest play. Director John Madden, screenwriter Marc Norman and playwright Tom Stoppard envisioned a world in which the inspiration behind Romeo and Juliet was Shakespeare’s own tumultuous experience with forbidden love. In the film, a young William (Joseph Fiennes) falls in love with Viola de Lesseps (Gwyneth Paltrow), the daughter of a wealthy merchant who is betrothed to another man. Of course, the film never pretended or desired to be rooted in fact. But its liberal use of the life of history’s most famous writer may have misled ill-informed moviegoers into believing that the bard was just a run-of-the-mill, untalented and unsuccessful playwright who got lucky.