Laurie Sparham / Miramax Film
Shakespeare in Love
Paltrow won the best actress Oscar for this 1998 romantic comedy that beat out favorite Saving Private Ryan for best film of the year. Set in 1593, the comedy revolves around young Will Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) who is having writers block on his latest play, Romeo and Juliet, and is looking for a muse. His inspiration arrives in the form of Lady Viola (Paltrow), a young woman engaged to the dreadfully boring Lord Wessex (Colin Firth). Viola dreams of becoming an actor, but because women were not permitted on stage, she disguises herself as a man to audition for Shakespeares play. But its love at first sight between the two and soon Viola drops her guise and falls into the arms and bed of the young Bard.