Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. 89
    Wildly entertaining, "Shakespeare in Love" minus the Bard and the babe, but with substantive style to burn.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    In the end, it's the snatches of music, mangled as it is, and the mechanics of staging it, in the absence of Leigh's usual raw, urgent psychic collisions, that keep Topsy-Turvy from seeming merely a gorgeous wax museum.
  3. A tribute to anyone who ever picked up a score, a pen, a paintbrush or a grease pencil - or a movie camera.
  4. Thoroughly researched, unobtrusively upholstered, this beautifully assured entertainment about Victorian England is a string of delights.
  5. 100
    It is one of the year's best films.
  6. Some movies delight you. Some stimulate and provoke. Some enlighten and inform. And some simply hand you a rousing good time-- does all of that and more.
  7. Brilliantly acted, sumptuously filmed, and overflowing with mellifluous music.
  8. A masterful film about the magic of performance and the foibles of the artists behind it.
  9. Topsy-Turvy reminds us that, in any age, creative expression is at once the most personal and most communal of enterprises.
  10. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    90
    Leigh and his solid cast make sure that inside jokes translate to a broad audience, and that their rendering of the back-stage drama is smart, engrossing and often very funny.
  11. 90
    We never seem to be looking at actors, but at people; never at scenes, but at life unrehearsed.
  12. A bit longer than it might be, a bit more attached to its digressions than we might wish. But the length does encourage the feeling that we've been through the whole creative process with Gilbert and Sullivan .
  13. 88
    A joyous, amazingly detailed paean to imagination and personal expression that dares -- and succeeds -- to illustrate one of the most mysterious enigmas of all: the creative process.
  14. 81
    Topsy-Turvy is flawless, borne along by a savagely witty screenplay that Leigh directs like the gears of a clock.
  15. A hive of broad, brilliant performances.
  16. Revels in the sensual pleasure of music while capturing brilliantly the tension that grips any theater company before the curtain goes up.
  17. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Filled with delicious backstage drama, and superb actors reveling in the opportunity to play their 19th-century counterparts.
  18. 91
    It's as full a movie as you can imagine -- exhausting and exhilarating and continually fascinating.
  19. 90
    The year's most beguilling and touching surprise. Bravo.
  20. Part of the appeal of Topsy-Turvy is its generosity about human folly and shortcomings. Its wistfulness is very touching.
  21. Mike Leigh's great big, superbly performed homage to the creative process.
  22. At 160 minutes, it's a bit long and uneventful for anyone who is not at least a moderate fan of the musicals.
  23. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    90
    A monument to process -- to the minutiae of making art -- Topsy-Turvy leaves you upside down and breathless.
  24. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    90
    One of those films that create a mix of erudition, pageantry and delectable acting opportunities, much as "Shakespeare in Love."
  25. Reviewed by: Don Kaye
    50
    But there's so much more of the very, very British Topsy-Turvy that just seems so stuffy and inert.
  26. 70
    A loving, gently funny and slightly claustrophobic tribute to theatrical life.
  27. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    100
    One of the year's best movies and certainly its most delightful screen surprise.
  28. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    90
    This beautifully crafted and lively romp around the 1880s stage world should enjoy its longest life as a vid classic.
  29. 90
    Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
  30. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. CherylC.
    Jan 21, 2006
    10
    What an extraordinary evocation of an era, the theater and the creative process generally. A thoroughly enjoyable, wonderfully well done production!