Stage Beauty

User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 19, 2011
    9
    This is a film I can watch again and again. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes are both
    tremendously talented and this film is a great vehicle for them. Their chemistry is real
    (intense and sizzling). Both these Yanks pull of the British accents with ease. The story is interesting, the pace is quick, the music is well chosen and the supporting cast is excellent. I like the ambiguous ending
    This is a film I can watch again and again. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes are both
    tremendously talented and this film is a great vehicle for them. Their chemistry is real
    (intense and sizzling). Both these Yanks pull of the British accents with ease. The story is interesting,
    the pace is quick, the music is well chosen and the supporting cast is excellent. I like the ambiguous ending but have no doubt that Maria's great love will save Ned.
    Expand
  2. Jace
    Feb 21, 2007
    9
    While not the boiling melodrama one might expect from Shakesperean stew, this one simmers and cooks from start to finish. Highlights are Rupert Everett as King Charles II (bawdy, hilarious, over-the-top but utterly believable) and the dialogue, which breathes with extremely clever and irionic wit, as well as delivering emotional blows that linger into subsequent scenes. This movie tells a While not the boiling melodrama one might expect from Shakesperean stew, this one simmers and cooks from start to finish. Highlights are Rupert Everett as King Charles II (bawdy, hilarious, over-the-top but utterly believable) and the dialogue, which breathes with extremely clever and irionic wit, as well as delivering emotional blows that linger into subsequent scenes. This movie tells a poignant story and has fun doing so, without ever devolving into plain silliness. Collapse
  3. ChadShiira
    Oct 17, 2006
    8
    Remember "Cheers"? Remember when Andy Andy and Diane performed "Othello" in Sam's bar? In "Stage Beauty", Maria(Claire Danes) is vague about her acting counterpart's method-gone-mad interpretation of "The Moor" by referring to him as a pronoun. Why? Just in case Ned really isn't trying to kill her? A feminist reading of "Stage Beauty" will point out that Maria is unfairly Remember "Cheers"? Remember when Andy Andy and Diane performed "Othello" in Sam's bar? In "Stage Beauty", Maria(Claire Danes) is vague about her acting counterpart's method-gone-mad interpretation of "The Moor" by referring to him as a pronoun. Why? Just in case Ned really isn't trying to kill her? A feminist reading of "Stage Beauty" will point out that Maria is unfairly portrayed as a villian(she's kind of Joan Rivers-like in her seeming disloyalty to Johnny Carson), when, in actuality, it's the budding actress' right to reclaim her sex from transgender masquerade. During Desdemona's death scene, there's a masochistic willingness on Maria's behalf to be punished. Her super-trouper mentality doesn't quite ring true because Danes doesn't convey that unforgettable fire for acting, in which you'd believe that Maria would lay down her life for the stage. Who would be that stupid anyway? But if you'd rather relax and not dig deep into "Stage Beauty", you'll be surprised at how this small film is in every way superior to "Shakespeare in Love". Thanks largely in part to Billy Crudup, who is not the "most beautiful woman on the London stage", but who makes a sublime drag queen. Expand
  4. JayH.
    Aug 10, 2006
    10
    This movie was brilliant. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because I don't always enjoy period films involving Shakespeare, bt wow. This had my attention early on in the film, and pulled me for a memorable ride. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes were perfect as the leads. They had such an electric chemistry, and just worked well with each other. Crudup especially gave such an This movie was brilliant. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it because I don't always enjoy period films involving Shakespeare, bt wow. This had my attention early on in the film, and pulled me for a memorable ride. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes were perfect as the leads. They had such an electric chemistry, and just worked well with each other. Crudup especially gave such an excellent performance, I'm disappointed he didn't get an Oscar nomination, at the very least. Stage Beauty funny, insightful, smart, witty, refreshing. Defintiely a must see. Expand
  5. roxw.
    Dec 15, 2005
    10
    Billy Crudup deserved an Oscar. The depth and development of his character is a rare event in Hollywood. So rare, in fact, many critics and viewers are unable to recognize a performance that sparkles with nuance. The chemistry between Crudup and Danes is electrifying. A great underrated film.
  6. TaraS
    May 1, 2005
    9
    An instant favorite of mine! BIlly Crudup is excellent!!!
  7. IndigoW.
    Apr 16, 2005
    9
    Claire Danes and Billy Crudup worked wonderfully together. All of the actors were terrific. Loved the whole movie!
  8. DaveW
    Mar 13, 2005
    10
    I'd almost forgotten what can happen when literate, witty writing, savvy direction, and brilliant acting get together in one film. I thought Shakespeare in Love was kind of boring ala Merchant-Ivory. Stage Beauty offers a far more diverse, imaginative experience. I'd never heard of this film before taking a chance on it at the video store, and now it's on my top ten list I'd almost forgotten what can happen when literate, witty writing, savvy direction, and brilliant acting get together in one film. I thought Shakespeare in Love was kind of boring ala Merchant-Ivory. Stage Beauty offers a far more diverse, imaginative experience. I'd never heard of this film before taking a chance on it at the video store, and now it's on my top ten list for the year so far. Expand
  9. FionaJ.
    Feb 23, 2005
    9
    This is a fabulous film- i found it very touching- it also says a lot about gender and sexuality- how boundries blur and we can't always be neatly pigeonholed.
  10. AlexH.
    Jan 18, 2005
    8
    A clever film about actors and drama set in an optimum context - when Charles II changed the rules. Recommended
  11. GregH.
    Nov 22, 2004
    5
    Predominantly good fun... but entirely unconvincing and unnecessary central romance screws it all up... visually ugly and oddly claustrophobic.
  12. VinceH.
    Nov 11, 2004
    5
    Stage Beauty, despite what you may have read, is not merely retreading over "Shakespeare in Love"'s terrirorry. Really despite Tom Wilkinson's eerily similar performance in both movie (and the locale and time period) nonwithstanding. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes are amazing in their scenes together, but apart from those great bits, the script just kind of roughly sketches their Stage Beauty, despite what you may have read, is not merely retreading over "Shakespeare in Love"'s terrirorry. Really despite Tom Wilkinson's eerily similar performance in both movie (and the locale and time period) nonwithstanding. Billy Crudup and Claire Danes are amazing in their scenes together, but apart from those great bits, the script just kind of roughly sketches their characters and makes them feel more like fabrications of a historical movie-world than real people living in this world. The direction from Richard Eyre focuses mainly on the performances and apart from a beautifully staged scene in an empty theater between Crudup and Chaplin, it is mostly non-flashy. Unfortunately the script falters a lot, from the sexual politics of Crudup's supposedly "gay" character being pretty inept to the fact that the actors delving into the style of "realism" in the climactic perf. of "Othello" is a bit too obvious a metaphor in my opinion. Expand
  13. 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
  14. LisaF.
    Oct 11, 2004
    10
    I loved it!
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. 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.