Stage Beauty

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
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  1. Brian143
    Oct 17, 2004
    3
    STAGEY is not Beautiful. The ?potential? story of how women return to the stage during the British Restoration is not psychological enough, in this highly presentational production. Save it for DVD. In addition, the loose ends in style, plot and motivation ruin our satisfaction. The director leaves untied a myriad of loose ends, e.g., the protagonist Kynaston (Crudup) entrances the STAGEY is not Beautiful. The ?potential? story of how women return to the stage during the British Restoration is not psychological enough, in this highly presentational production. Save it for DVD. In addition, the loose ends in style, plot and motivation ruin our satisfaction. The director leaves untied a myriad of loose ends, e.g., the protagonist Kynaston (Crudup) entrances the courtly ingénues at one moment and the next they entrap him to near-death. Why does Maria fascinate her early audiences but fail miserably in her audition? Also, the shooting style is all over the map. But worst of all, we never get connected to the protagonist, Crudup, who is so presentational and jaded in his on-stage work, that we are rooting for him to be ousted in favor of Maria. His comeback, requires an integral redemption, which is ?tacked on? in this film as a mechanical, unsatisfying love scene with Maria where she ?turns? him ?straight again?, as if that would make him more of a human or artist! A.O.Scott is right about this flaw, but we wished he?d pointed out the disjointed plot and photographic style, which marks this as an over-reaching first effort. A re-write of this script would cause us early to get inside the skin of both Maria and Kynaston, and if he is to turn straight to enable a romance, we need to enjoy more of a struggle than what is tacked on in this film. ?Shakepeare in Love? this film is not, and it belongs to the melodramatic exaggerations of the period it depicts. Expand
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Ray Bennett
    90
    Those who thought "Shakespeare In Love" was as good as it gets in intelligent costume romantic comedy will find that director Richard Eyre and writer Jeffrey Hatcher have taken the form to a higher level.
  2. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    80
    This skillfully acted, handsomely crafted frock piece toys cleverly with gender confusion and sexual identity.
  3. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    70
    It's a marvelous premise, and Crudup's serpentine performance has a venomous grace. But Jeffrey Hatcher's screenplay too often sacrifices psychological insight for bogus theatricality.