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Sunday, June 1, 2008

STAGE BEAUTY (2004)

A drama on how England, under the eccentric reign of Charles II, permitted women to go on stage & (our gimmick) what became of the men who had portrayed the girls. Stage vet Richard Eyre, in his second helming, hasn’t a clue how to pull off this SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE/TOM JONES combo platter & allows his lead, Billy Crudup, to give his most mannered perf yet, all smirks, cheek sucking & 'indicating.' Other than Ben Chaplin, who carves out a legit characterization as Crudup’s bisexual protector, everyone chews scenery while Eyre gives chase with the overactive camera of a novice. Little attempt at period performance style, the very subject of the film, is made. (Unless you believe The Method was taught in the 1600.) A waste; an embarrassment.

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