The much maligned acting of the prequels……….is more that they are in dramatic style a costume stage play in a theatre. The acting has a more imaginary element in this way, which has a certain charm about it stylistically. The elaborate variety of costumes in the PT helped in establishing that overall stylistic tone.
The cinema of the prequels is purposely more theatrical.
You’re absolute right, I’ve always thought this, which is exactly why I enjoyed the shakespean adaptations of Star Wars so much. I’m not sure why fans don’t get this. Not every movie needs to be the same, let alone acted the same. Perhapes it’s a rare approach to cinema with not too many examples, especially mainstream ones?