Sunday, April 17, 2011

Backstage Again with Mike Leigh

     In case you missed the original 1999 release of director Mike Leigh's cinematic masterpiece, Topsy-Turvy, you now have another excuse to see it.  The Criterion Collection has just come out with a digitally remastered version, including Blu-Ray, with extended commentary and interviews.
     Topsy-Turvy is perhaps the best film ever made about the staging of a major theatrical production.  A terrific ensemble cast led by Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner, as famous playwrights W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan, delivers an imaginative, richly detailed look at the personal and professional challenges behind the original staging of the comic opera, The Mikado.

     Mike Leigh achieved a rare combination of cinematic beauty and historical detail with this film, populated by richly developed characters.  To be perfectly frank, the set-up in the first 30 minutes is a bit slow-moving, and I don't think I would have missed it, but I urge you to stay with it.  By the time you're well into the first hour of this story, you'll be completely hooked.  Buy it, reserve it on Netflix--do whatever you have to do.  Just see it.  If you've already seen it, it's time to pay it another visit.

No comments:

Post a Comment