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Topsy-Turvy

Director/Writer:Mike Leigh
USA Films; R; 160 minutes
Release:12/99
Cast:Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Dorothy Atkinson

Topsy-Turvy is a movie filmed with sophistication and actorly style. It targets a niche audience numbering in the millions: Gilbert & Sullivan fans. The film skips back to the 19th century, when the mythic operetta duo was suffering from a lack of inspiration. Director Mike Leigh and a talented cast pull off actors playing actors quite well, from behind-the-scenes small talk to rehearsals and performances. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner portray Gilbert and Sullivan.

When Gilbert's wife (Lesley Manville) takes him to a Japanese exhibition, the artist receives stereotypical 'inspiration' from the Orient and brainstorms The Mikado. Topsy-Turvy zooms in on the ups and downs of getting this work off the ground. Musical interludes will be welcome to G&S fans and those with patience. For full enjoyment, some sympathy or interest in the famous pair is needed; if you've got that, it's a sure winner.


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