A female theatre dresser creates a stir and sparks a revolution in seventeenth century London theatre by playing Desdemona in Othello. But what will become of the male actor she once worked for and eventually replaced?
A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant and her daughters, Constance and Nina. As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman. Harris is the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets.
Based in the 1660's of London's theaters, this film is about the rules of gender roles in theatre production, and means to change them for everyone's benefit. Ned Kynaston is the assumedly gay cross-dressing actor who has been playing female parts in plays for years, particularly Desdemona in Othello, he also has a close relationship with a member of the Royal Court, the Duke of Buckingham. One day however, the rules of only men playing women could change when aspiring actress Maria auditions as Kynaston's praised role, Desdemona, and soon enough, King Charles II decides to make the law that all female roles should be played only by women. Maria becomes a star, while Ned finds himself out of work. But after a while, Ned finds it in his nature to forgive Maria's aspiration, they may even fall in love, and Charles may proclaim women will be played by either gender.Written by
This film came and went in the cinema I go to. I went to see it on the last day it was on (which really wasn't very long at all) and I absolutely loved it. I don't think this film got the praise that it deserved. Billy Crudup has the perfect face for a Stage Beauty - he is effeminate in costume, yet a stunning man without the visage he dons for his Desdemona. Claire Danes pulls off her part wonderfully, especially the scene after she 'rescues' Crudup from the tavern, and the final rehearsal scene for Othello. Rupert Everett plays a wonderfully divine King Charles (with his little spaniels) and Zoe Tapper plays the ex-orange seller to perfection. The comedy and more emotional scenes in the play combine brilliantly. Bravo to all involved in this truly great film. If you didn't get the chance to see it in the cinema, I certainly recommend you to go out and rent it!
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