According to some, this was what Saving Private Ryan was snubbed in favor of, allegedly due to a campaign by Miramax. A campaign so effective, in fact, the Academy members are said to have actually booed the latter film. Needless to say, the film gets A LOT of hate for said snub. Rejection, thy name isRyan.
Likewise Gwyneth Paltrow winning the Oscar for Best Actress in favour of (at the time) the relatively unknown Cate Blanchett for Elizabeth.
Other than Romeo and Juliet, the three Shakespeare plays explicitly referenced in this film are Two Gentlemen of Verona (which the actors are shown performing), Henry VI and Titus Andronicus (which are both mentioned in dialogue). If you're familiar with the timeline of Shakespeare's career, this should immediately make it clear that the movie takes place at an early point in his life. Scholars generally agree that those are three of Shakespeare's earliest plays, and that one of them was probably the very first play he ever wrote (though it's almost impossible to know which one). note Dating is rather inexact, since most plays in the Elizabethan era weren't actually published until long after they were written, and after they had already been performed for years. But by comparing the plays and analyzing their composition, scholars have at least managed to develop a rough idea of which plays came first.
Hilarious in Hindsight: The Earldom of Wessex hadn't existed for nine hundred years when this movie came out with a fictional Lord Wessex as the villain; a year after the film's release, Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex on his marriage. Maybe the Queen was a fan of the film?
Hype Backlash: Inverted. People seem to forget it's quite a good movie due to anger over the Best Picture win. Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, its Tomatometer and average review score are nearly identical to Ryan's.