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Stage Beauty (2004) Movie Information

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Richard Eyre


Claire Danes
Billy Crudup
Tom Wilkinson
Hugh Bonneville
Richard Griffiths
Ben Chaplin





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The movie starts with the elegant performance of Ned Kynaston as Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello. At the time (1660s) male actors played the female characters in plays, and Ned was one of the celebrated stars. Things change as women are allowed to act, and then female roles are made exclusive to them. Against people's advice, Ned refuses to play male roles saying he is truly a man in a woman's form. A love story gradually grows between Ned's assistant (who ultimately cost Ned his career) and Ned. This love had to overcome two elements: Ned's ambiguous sexuality, and Ned's anger towards her for taking his life away. Finally, Ned innovates realistic acting instead of the prevalent melodrama..and gives a memorable a man. -- Dr MO

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Recent Movie Talk Forum Posts

  Dr MO
Aspiring Actor
Such an interesting plot!

My main attraction thou was Billy Crudup's perfect impersonation of the character.
I actually believed I was watching Ned Kynaston..the graceful "feminine" actor..the man trapped in woman's form.
Billy acted so well that I felt his pain, perplexity, fear and anger.

There is a specific scene that should be one of the best in the entire history of cinema, that is the scene where Billy plead to the king to let him act as a a challenge the king ordered him to show his skills at acting a man first. Billy's desparate attempts and his subsequent failure and breakdown is just a masterpiece..I virtually cried as he cried.

I just wanna say Billy's acting alone maked this movie a remarkable one.

5:24 pm CT

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