Posted: 10/17/2004 in films
Tags: ,

It’s Sunday morning, I am sat in bed listening to the Archers (avec earphones as there is a sleeping Alex lying next to me) and it is cold. Six degrees according to my weather icon. In twenty minutes or so I need to *brave* the chill and head out to get provisions.

In the meantime I shall keep myself warm by typing about seeing Stage Beauty on Friday. It is a very enchanting and melancholy production, one I’ll be definitely getting on DVD. I’ll have to wait till the Oracle of Plumstead (aka the mother) views it, to see to what degree it is historically inaccurate. As it turned out I had prepared myself in advance by watching Oliver Parker’s charged Othello, which features heavily in the film, earlier in the week. Set in the 17th Century it concerns itself with the transition from from female roles in the theatre being solely portrayed by actors to the introduction of actresses. Billy Crudup plays Edward Kynaston the finest Desdemona on the London stage, who’s dresser Maria (Claire Danes) copies his every action and dreams of acting herself. When she gets her chance, the novelty of a woman playing a woman turns her into an overnight sensation and a star. The question of whether she is any good is sidelined. Kynaston obviously doesn’t take to his forced retirement and battle ensues. The leads and supporting cast are wonderful. Crudup is particularly magnificent, as the hauntingly repressed actor and thankfully doesn’t push his performance over the top. The story crescendos with a make or break production of Othello and the final scene involving Desdemona’s murder. No spoilers here, but I was on the edge of my seat and it is quite the best thing I have seen in a long time.

Right bagels and coffee, me thinks.


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