Stage Beauty

2004

Stage Beauty

Critics Consensus

Uneven but enjoyable, Stage Beauty uses historical events as the springboard for a well-acted romance with a charming Shakespearean spin.

64%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 127
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Movie Info

It's the 1660s, and Edward 'Ned' Kynaston is England's most celebrated leading lady. Women are forbidden to appear on stage and Ned profits, using his beauty and skill to make the great female roles his own. But King Charles II is tired of seeing the same old performers in the same old tragedies. Since no one will take him up on his suggestion to improve Othello with a couple of good jokes, he decides to liven the royal palate by allowing real women to tread the boards. In a slightly less progressive spirit, he rules that men may no longer play women's parts. This is good news for the monarch's mistress, the saucy, stage-struck Nell Gwyn. It is also good news for Maria, Kynaston's lovelorn young dresser who has been secretly performing at a seedy tavern in lavish costumes borrowed from her employer. It is very bad news for Ned, who plummets from his exalted position as one of London's most desirable females to become a virtual nobody, virtually overnight. Cast out of the spotlight, Ned seems headed for burlesque obscurity until Maria, now a rising star, takes it upon herself to make a man of him again.

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Cast

Billy Crudup
as Ned Kynaston
Rupert Everett
as King Charles II
Tom Wilkinson
as Thomas Betterton
Ben Chaplin
as George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham
Hugh Bonneville
as Samuel Pepys
Richard Griffiths
as Sir Charles Sedley
Zoe Tapper
as Nell Gwyn
Tom Hollander
as Sir Peter Lely
Clare Higgins
as Mistress Revels
Jack Kempton
as Call Boy
Derek Hutchinson
as Stage Manager
Mark Letheren
as Male Emilia/Dickie
Alice Eve
as Miss Frayne
Fenella Woolgar
as Lady Meresvale
Stephen Marcus
as Thomas Cockerell
Robin Dunn
as Butler
Isabella Calthorpe
as Lady Jane Bellamy
Andy Merchant
as 1st Thug
John Street
as 2nd Thug
John Tannen
as 3rd Thug
Madeleine Worrall
as Female Emilia
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Critic Reviews for Stage Beauty

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (43)

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