In case you were wondering, The Merchant of Venice is still a profoundly bigoted piece of writing and Michael Radford's film is not—even in the year of our Lord 2004—able to overcome the play's inherent bigotry.
I watched my screener's copy tonight after hanging out with Jai in Old Town Pas.
Al Pacino is wonderful, simply put, and this woman who plays Portia (her name is Lynn Collins) is completely alluring and totally hot.
I loved the costumes, but I have to say I just still hate this play. It makes me incredibly upset and almost sick to my stomach. The injustice in this play is equal for me to the injustice in a hit-'em-over-the-head piece like The Crucible: it's that level of injustice. I was seriously saying "fuck you" over and over and over to my screen. There's no way around it. I don't ever want to do this play; I don't think I ever want to even see this play again. And if anyone ever tells me they want to mount a production I will ask them why with a look of complete incredulity on my face and then politely refuse to be a part of it.