Uncut - 10/01/2004
"Danes and Crudup kick up sparks in their scenes together, and Eyre wins you over with an energetic mix of bawdy humour and quick-fire wit."
Sight and Sound - 10/01/2004
"Crudup's feline beauty -- melancholy cheekbones, eyes jaded with hurt and mischief -- is interestingly cast against Dane's husky voice and strong features."
New York Times - 10/15/2004
"Crudup and Danes display a palpable chemistry..."
USA Today - 10/15/2004
"[D]irector Richard Eyre and writer Jeffery Hatcher, who wrote the source play, obviously know the milieu."
Rolling Stone - 10/28/2004
"Expertly directed....The film is bawdy fun....Crudup and Danes pair up beautifully..."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 10/01/2004
"[T]he film is a juicy evocation of a crucial turning point in theatrical history and a fascinating study in the complexity of sexual identity."
Entertainment Weekly - 03/29/2005
"Director Richard Eyre ably intertwines ideas about identity, love, and artifice with witty quips and fierce acting..."
Billy Crudup and Claire Danes give extraordinary performances in Richard Eyre's STAGE BEAUTY, set in Restoration England in the 1660s. After Oliver Cromwell's 18-year ban on stage productions, King Charles II took the throne and encouraged the return of the theater; however, women were not permitted to act, so men had to play the female roles. In STAGE BEAUTY, Crudup stars as Ned Kynaston, the biggest star of the day, wowing audiences as Desdemona in Shakespeare's OTHELLO. The gorgeous actor's dresser, Maria (whose full name is Margaret Hughes), is not only deeply devoted to Kynaston, she is also in love with him and the theater, so much so that after his performance, she runs to the nearby Cockpit Tavern to play Desdemona herself, even though it is against the law. All the while, diarist Samuel Pepys (Hugh Bonneville) scribbles notes on all that is going on around him, detailing the transition from the last great male actor playing female roles to the first great female actress to take the stage in England.
Reminiscent of SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (in fact, the excellent Tom Wilkinson plays a theater owner in both films), STAGE BEAUTY features a splendid supporting cast, including Rupert Everett as Charles II, Zoe Tapper as his mistress Nell Gwyn, Ben Chaplin as the bisexual Duke of Buckingham, and Richard Griffiths as Sir Charles Sedley, who takes Hughes under his wing. STAGE BEAUTY is a treat for lovers of Shakespeare and the craft of acting, as the competition--and possible romance--between Kynaston and Hughes leads to a deep examination of character, personality, loyalty, and love.
Stage Play |
THEATRICAL RELEASE: OCTOBER 8, 2004 (NY) OCTOBER 15, 2004 (EXPANDS)