Topsy Turvy 1999

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Topsy Turvy ★★★½ 1999 (R)

The very contemporary Leigh takes a pass at Victorian England for his very long and chatty look at life in the theatre. His focus is on the comicopera partnership of irascible lyricist W.S. Gilbert (Broadbent) and pleasureloving composer, Sir Arthur Sullivan (Corduner). Their latest creation (after 10 hits) is a flop, causing a serious rift but Gilbert, after a visit to a Japanese art exhibit, is inspired to write “The Mikado” and pulls Sullivan back in. The film then follows the production of the opera from rehearsal to the 1885 premiere with all its difficulties and triumphs. 160m/C VHS, DVD . GB Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Leslie Manville, Eleanor David, Ron Cook, Timothy Spall, Kevin McKidd, Mark Benton, Shirley Henderson, Martin Savage, Jessie Bond; D: Mike Leigh; W: Mike Leigh; C: Dick Pope; M: Carl Davis. Oscars ‘99: Costume Des., Makeup; British Acad. ‘99: Makeup; N.Y. Film Critics ‘99: Director (Leigh), Film; Natl. Soc. Film Critics ‘99: Director (Leigh), Film.