October 21, 2004

Billy Crudup Is the Man-Woman-Man


He used to just be a Golden God, and Cinecultist was fine with that. But now, Billy Crudup wants to be an Ahct-or, in his new movie with Claire Danes, Stage Beauty where he plays one gender confused character inside another gender characters. All while sporting a British accent. And being attracted to Claire. Whew, it makes us tired just writing about it.

Billy plays Ned Kynaston, the famous Shakespearian actor from 1660's London who's spent his whole life training to play women's roles on the stage. However, his dresser Maria (that's Claire) would also like to have some strutting and fretting time, so she convinces King Charles, (even without all of those spaniels underfoot, Rupert Everett's still the gay-est ever, god love him) to lift the edict against women on stage and to ban the men in women's parts. And hilarity ensues. Just kidding, no actually this is one of those "artistic independent dramas produced in Europe," so then, drama ensues.

Our problem though with the movie in general is how it tries to illustrate this grand moment (women take the English stage, how revolutionary!) but instead it merely seems petty and small. Shouldn't there be more to it than the jealousy/sexual tension between Ned and Maria? Even the city of London seems small, as the same minor characters appear over and over again on screen in the background. Is there no one else important to be at court beside a bunch of actors and Samuel Pepys? (10 points to whomever can e-mail us and remind us what Pepys is famous for in English letters.) Also, is Ned gay? Or just a little gender confused and easily sorted out by Maria's adoration? That doesn't make a whole lot of sense in our post-Stonewall world.

The final thing CC was left with for certain after seeing Stage Beauty, we never want to see Claire Danes flash her bare breast at us ever, ever again. *Shudder.* Not exactly knowledge that is worth the admission to the theater.

Posted by karen at October 21, 2004 8:37 AM