Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stage Beauty (2004) R - 3 Stars

Based on a true story, in 17th Century London where it's forbidden for a woman to act on stage, a young man is once again performing a woman's role as Desdemona in the Shakespeare's play of Othello. Any female part of a play must be performed by a man and Kynaston is really good at it. That is until Mrs. Hughes, who's memorized every line, steals his clothes and sneaks out to a stage at a small club to perform. She must return in time before she is noticed, to keep her secret safe.

Danes and Crudup have a nice love hate relationship and I truly enjoyed the quirkiness of Everett as King Charles. I did find myself feeling sorry for Crudup and his inability to perform in any other way than he's been trained. His world is crushed when Danes comes into play, so to speak, as his competition. A touching story that turns to love.

Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup), is starring in his role as Desdemona opposite Thomas Betterton (Tom Wilkinson), in the Shakespearean play, Othello. Ned has trained and perfected every movement of a woman in order to make his character seem as real as possible. A bit arrogant, he appreciates but looks down on his faithful dresser Maria Hughes (Claire Danes), as nothing more than that. Maria has been watching Ned preform night after night and shes managed to learn every word of his role. So eager to perform for herself, she steals one of Kynaston, wig and costume while he is out, and gives her own performance at a small no name club. While shes performing on stage, Kynaston still in costume, gets propositioned by Sir Charles Sedley (Richard Griffiths). When Sir Sedley finds he's the brunt of a joke, he seeks revenge on Kynaston by getting him beat up. But Kynaston's world fall apart even more when Maria is giving peak performances before King Charles II (Rupert Everett), who now deems only woman can play woman's roles.


2004 - National Board of Review - Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking

Lions Gate Films
Director: Richard Eyre
Writer: Jeffrey Hatcher
Producers: Robert De Niro, Hardy Justice, Jane Rosenthal
I viewed 1/10

No comments: