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Topsy-Turvy (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Top Customer Reviews
Viewers who find musicals simplistic or shallow or generally silly should make an exception in the case of Topsy-Turvy. It is none of those things. In true Mike Leigh fashion, the actors inhabit their characters like second skin. No one is simple or shallow. Nor does Leigh avoid the seamier side of London theatrical life. I particularly liked Jim Broadbent's bitterly comic and misanthropic Gilbert, Martin Savage as the opium-addicted George Grossmith (the 'patter baritone' who rips through Gilbert's rapidfire lyrics like a rap song), and Lucy Manville as Gilbert's long-suffering wife.
Finally, the film is visually beautiful and detailed; wonderful costumes, lighting, and sets that seem faultless in their historical detail.
One of the best, if not the best, bio-pic ever made.
With a director of the ability of Mike Leigh, it is no surprise that the film is superb as a production. Everything is superb about the film. The art direction and set design is extraordinary, and I can't imagine a historical film more compellingly done than this one. Moreover, the musical numbers are exquisitely done, and always convincing.
In the end, however, as superb as the direction and the design are, what drives this movie are the performers. This is a very fine ensemble cast, many of them Mike Leigh regulars, like the very fine Timothy Sprall, who winningly plays Richard Temple. Jim Broadbent has since the release of TOPSY-TURVY managed to establish himself as a superstar character actor through films like MOULIN ROUGE, NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, and IRIS (for which he won an Oscar). I always marvel at his range and his ability to sell any role. He is stellar here as the Stoic and emotionally conservative W. S. Gilbert.Read more ›
I found the rendering of the historical period to be splendid --as convincing as Rossellini's "Louis XIV".
The actual creation and staging of the Mikado (in the second half of the film) is likely to delight anyone familiar with the works of G&S -- or anyone who has ever struggled to put together an effective theatrical production. The poignant illnesses and psychic suffering of the Savoy actors -- as well as the suffering of G&S -- set one up for goosebumps when they soared triumphantly into song on opening night.
The language and witty word play in many scenes were like the first stages of a multi-stage rocket that ultimately hurled Gilbert's wonderfully silly and witty libretto into artistic orbit. (Forgive me. I am an intellectual chap.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I adore this film and am SO disappointed that this disc will not play, and yes, I have double- and quintuple-checked that I have the correct format for my region, so that's clearly... Read morePublished 2 months ago by CanyonGirl
A tour d'force performance. Broadbent should have received an Oscar. The formality of Victorian language took some getting used to. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Raymond E. Korns
this movie, a British film by Mike Davis, is a really wonderful biography of Gilbert & Sullivan. the actors are some of my favorites (Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent.... Read morePublished 3 months ago by June
One of my all time favorite films but perhaps not for all. The humor in this film is all character driven. Read morePublished 4 months ago by dave king
It is one of my favorite movies. I was pleased to find it available again. The story and characters are interesting, the actors wonderful and the music magnificent.Published 4 months ago by Silby Sinclair
So perfectly written, cast, directed and acted. Definitely one to own. What a fantastic time in theatre. Music stayed in my head for days.Published 4 months ago by J. Conaway
Wonderful period movie - great sets, costumes, acting. and story. Fun!Published 5 months ago by Caron Stone
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