Topsy-Turvy

1999

Biography / Comedy / Drama / History / Music / Musical

119
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79%
IMDb Rating 7.3 10 11,395

Synopsis


Downloaded times
August 12, 2020

Director

Cast

Andy Serkis as John D'Auban
Jim Broadbent as William Schwenck Gilbert
Kevin McKidd as Moses
Shirley Henderson as Leonora Braham
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.45 GB
1280*720
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
160 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.97 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
R
23.976 fps
160 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by markt-9 10 / 10 / 10

fascinating, funny, and true as gold

I loved this film, yet I have a hard time understanding many of the comments other viewers have made. I never liked G&S all that much, thought they were rather light weight stuff. Never liked the late Victorian era much either. Kind of a dull time, I thought. Musicals are definitely not my thing. Yet this movie struck me as one of the greatest I have ever seen, right up there with Greed and Citizen Kane and all that lot. I suppose it's because I like period pieces, and I think it's damned difficult for anyone to draw an accurate -- or even an evocative -- picture of any time that is not their own. This movie does that, and it never even appears to strain so much as a single hair to do so. In the end, this movie is deeply *humane.* Like many another Mike Leigh epic, the characters here are drawn in the round, flaws and talents all on view, just like real human beings. And he likes them all, even the stinkers. Likes them well enough to paint them as they are, not as cardboard figures. If you like your characters pre-digested and redrawn larger than life and your plots full of twists and turns, you might find this movie tame. If you like people, you'll find it fascinating, funny, and true as gold. And why do I rate it so highly? Because it hangs together so perfectly, all of a piece. It's luscious to look at, delightful to hear, and sweet as candy without ever once becoming saccharine or cheap. Some reviewers complained you had to "already know" something to enjoy this movie: the music, the time, the language, the whatever. I say, all you have to know is human beings. If you find them interesting, you'll love this movie.

Reviewed by ahab1013 10 / 10 / 10

I've no more shots in my locker

Simply put, a brilliant film. Topsy Turvy captures Gilbert and Sullivan in the midst of a turbulent period in their partnership. Desperate to be taken more seriously as a composer, Arthur Sullivan attempts to renege on the Gilbert and Sullivan contract with the Savoy Theatre. While his partner William S Gilbert struggles to come up with something new to write about. Each man, in a sense, is longing for individual acclaim but they are trapped in an entity neither one can shake. The fame of their collective energies has taken on a life of its own and the theater crowds want more. The film is mostly the story of a theater production of the Mikado, one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most famous operas. Director Mike Leigh, notorious for writing on the go, has structured a play within a play to a great delight. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner are brilliant as Gilbert and Sullivan, and Tim Spall has a wonderful turn as one of the actors, Mr. Temple. Their is more here than just two playwrights. The entire cast is seen as more than just pieces of a production. From choristers to administrative personnel, Topsy Turvy is alive with characters. One of the best is Gilbert's long-suffering wife Kitty. Bereft of children and saddled with a husband who doesn't show outward affection, Kitty (Lucy) could be a two dimensional afterthought. However, her pain at being childless is wonderfully played by Lesley Manville. It is clear they love each other but neither is capable of articulating that love, very odd for a man who writes for a living. Filled with humor and grace, Topsy Turvy is one of the best films about acting and a beautiful embrace of all things theatrical.

Reviewed by Tom-207 10 / 10 / 10

Victorian England refracted through Gilbert & Sullivan

I was introduced to Gilbert & Sullivan in my very early teens under the auspices of the parents of one of my friends. They took us to Falmouth on Cape Cod to a place called Highfield, the summer home of the Oberlin College Players. They specialized in G&S and other light operettas. I learned to appreciate G&S, but I never became a fanatical devotee, even with the historical context patiently explained to me by my friend's mom. (It was similar with Shakespeare. The language could be a barrier rather than a gateway.) The audience in the theater where I saw Topsy-Turvy was filled with devotees. You could hear their delight as they viewed the actual performances of Gilbert & Sullivan's work in the film. The director, Mike Leigh, through skillful editing and camera work, does an excellent job of photographing a stage presentation, certainly one of the best I've ever seen on film. He uses closeups, and though the actors are using an exaggerated, theatrical style, somehow the G&S material has never been clearer to me; and I've seen at least a dozen G&S performances, including two D'Oyle Carte productions (Pirates and The Mikado), the present-day descendant company of the Savoy Theater depicted in the film. People who have never seen G&S before will appreciate their work here. Most of all, the film is very much about the highly contrasting personalities of William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, the former emotionally restrained, the latter a hedonist. Leigh allows us to get to know them quite well and a host of other characters too, though G&S are first among equals in this excellent, ensemble cast. Among the supporting players, I found Shirley Henderson to be increasingly interesting as the film progressed, and I felt rewarded when she was the central character in the last two scenes of the film. The period settings, manners, and speech are very accurate and detailed. As presented here, the Victorian era seems physically stifling, with people leading their lives in the close quarters of dressing rooms, offices, restaurants, living rooms, and bedrooms. Even more stifling is the emotional inhibition masked by correctly blustery forthrightness. Toward the end of the film, there's a revealing and poignant scene between Gilbert and his wife which makes this all very clear, and what also becomes clear is how important theatrical presentations were to people then as a means of expressing themselves in a culture which sanctioned few quarters to do so. It's one of the best examples of Mike Leigh's direction. The G&S operettas were, of course, a commentary on Victorian times. In the film, you can see why they were so wildly popular. In that period, I think so many people were so restrained and distant from their own feelings that even the, to us, mannered and wordy G&S operettas were a breath of fresh air in Victorian England. The few occasions when Leigh breaks out of consistently claustrophobic medium shots and closeups are when he gives us a wide view of the full, theatrical stage. Topsy-Turvy is about how Gilbert and Sullivan refracted Victorian England through a proscenium arch. Mike Leigh refracts it again through the camera lens in a way that allows us to see ourselves in our times by looking at G&S and their operettas in theirs. This is a long film (over two and one half hours), and given the subject matter, not to everyone's interest, though it's far more than the specifics of the period and the material. I found it to be my favorite film of the year thus far, and I highly recommend it.

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