Topsy Turvy (1999)

TOPSY TURVY is an explosion of absorbing period detail.  Too bad it 
takes a good hour-and-a-half for writer/director Mike Leigh's story 
of Gilbert, Sullivan, and "The Mikado" to finally hits its comically 
dramatic stride.  For the butt-numbing first half of the film, prec-
ious screen time is wasted on minor characters, the minor events of 
*major* characters-- such an oh-so-interesting trip to the dentist-- 
and excerpts from the duo's less-popular operettas.  Oh well.  The 
many "Mikado" numbers are expectedly delightful, as are the highly 
entertaining rehearsal sequences.  (Hell, just a two-hour reading of 
Gilbert's lyrics *alone* would be worthy of a feature film!)  The 
cast includes Allan Corduner, Lesley Manville, Eleanor David, Ron 
Cook, Timothy Spall, Alison Steadman, and a good 'n' gruff Jim 
Broadbent, who provides the film's funniest sight, when he appears 
in a nightcap while wielding a samurai sword.  Hilarious.  (Rated 
"R"/160 min.)

Grade: C+
Copyright 2000 Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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