MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 658 this week

Topsy-Turvy (1999)

7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 8,947 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 195 user | 102 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

After Gilbert and Sullivan's latest play is critically panned, the frustrated team threatens to disband until it is inspired to write the masterpiece "The Mikado."

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 24 titles
created 06 Jan 2013
 
a list of 32 titles
created 15 Feb 2013
 
a list of 40 titles
created 01 Jun 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 46 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Topsy-Turvy" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Topsy-Turvy (1999)

Topsy-Turvy (1999) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Topsy-Turvy.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Penny's love for her partner, taxi-driver Phil, has run dry. He is a gentle, philosophical guy, and she works on the checkout at a supermarket. Their daughter Rachel cleans in a home for ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Lesley Manville, Ruth Sheen
High Hopes (1988)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Slice-of-life look at a sweet working-class couple in London, Shirley and Cyril, his mother, who's aging quickly and becoming forgetful, mum's ghastly upper-middle-class neighbors, and ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Philip Davis, Ruth Sheen, Edna Doré
Life Is Sweet (1990)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Just north of London live Wendy, Andy, and their twenty-something twins, Natalie and Nicola. Wendy clerks in a shop, leads aerobics at a primary school, jokes like a vaudevillian, agrees to... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Alison Steadman, Jim Broadbent, Claire Skinner
Vera Drake (2004)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Abortionist Vera Drake finds her beliefs and practices clash with the mores of 1950s Britain--a conflict that leads to tragedy for her family.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Imelda Staunton, Jim Broadbent, Heather Craney
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Successful black woman traces her birth mother to a lower-class white woman, who denies it; emotions run high as everyone's secrets are exposed.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Timothy Spall, Brenda Blethyn, Phyllis Logan
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A look at a few chapters in the life of Poppy, a cheery, colorful, North London schoolteacher whose optimism tends to exasperate those around her.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Sally Hawkins, Alexis Zegerman, Samuel Roukin
Another Year (2010)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A look at four seasons in the lives of a happily married couple and their relationships with their family and friends.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Ruth Sheen, Lesley Manville
Bleak Moments (1971)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Moments from the uncompromisingly bleak existence of a secretary, her retarded sister, aloof and uneasy teacher boyfriend, bizzare neighbour and irritating workmate.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Anne Raitt, Sarah Stephenson, Eric Allan
Naked (1993)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Johnny flees Manchester for London, to avoid a beating from the family of a girl he has raped. There he finds an old girlfriend, and spends some time homeless, spending much of his time ... See full summary »

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge
Four Days in July (TV Movie 1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A catholic and a protestant couple in Northern Ireland have amazing parallels in their lives, despite being either side of the divide.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Brid Brennan, Des McAleer, Paula Hamilton
A Sense of History (TV Short 1992)
Short | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The 23rd Earl of Leete shares brief moments of his life, the truth behind his family estate and his particular glorious moment when he murdered his wife and his brother.

Director: Mike Leigh
Stars: Jim Broadbent, Stephen Bill, Belinda Bradley
Topsy Turvy (1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
Director: Edward Fleming
Stars: Lars Bom, Henrik Koefoed, Nonny Sand
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Louis
Sukie Smith ...
Clothilde
Roger Heathcott ...
Banton
Wendy Nottingham ...
Helen Lenoir
Stefan Bednarczyk ...
Frank Cellier
Geoffrey Hutchings ...
Armourer
...
Richard Temple (The Mikado)
Francis Lee ...
Butt
...
Cook
Adam Searle ...
Shrimp
...
...
...
Lucy Gilbert
Kate Doherty ...
Mrs. Judd
Edit

Storyline

After their production "Princess Ida" meets with less-than-stunning reviews, the relationship between Gilbert and Sullivan is strained to breaking. Their friends and associates attempt to get the two to work together again, which opens the way to "The Mikado," one of the duo's greatest successes. Written by Steve Fenwick <scf@w0x0f.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Gilbert & Sullivan & So Much More See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of risque nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

| | | |

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mike Leigh Untitled  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£139,700 (UK) (18 February 2000)

Gross:

$6,201,757 (USA) (19 May 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Most modern recordings and performances of the Mikado's solo, "A More Humane Mikado" feature a bloodthirsty laugh between the verses. This touch was added by Darrel Fancourt, a D'Oyly Carte performer from 1920-1953, and has been copied ever since - which is why the laugh is not performed by Richard Temple (Timothy Spall). See more »

Goofs

During the performance, Katisha's kimono is wrapped incorrectly. All Kimono wrap from the right side of the body to the left (i.e. the right side folds over the left), but her kimono wraps from left to right. Every other character has her/his kimono wrapped correctly. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Judd, Gilbert's Maid: I've made you some beef tea, Mr. Gilbert.
Gilbert: Take it away.
Mrs. Judd, Gilbert's Maid: You've not had anything since yesterday afternoon, sir.
Gilbert: Take it away.
Mrs. Judd, Gilbert's Maid: You can't work on an empty stomach.
Gilbert: I can't work at all, Mrs. Judd, if I'm being constantly pestered by interfering women with hot beef tea, cold compresses, mustard poultices, and excessive attacks of philanthropic zeal.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 72nd Annual Academy Awards (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

A Wand'ring Minstrel, I
(1885)
from "The Mikado"
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by Kevin McKidd and chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Victorian England refracted through Gilbert & Sullivan
17 March 2000 | by (Boston) – See all my reviews

I was introduced to Gilbert & Sullivan in my very early teens under the auspices of the parents of one of my friends. They took us to Falmouth on Cape Cod to a place called Highfield, the summer home of the Oberlin College Players. They specialized in G&S and other light operettas.

I learned to appreciate G&S, but I never became a fanatical devotee, even with the historical context patiently explained to me by my friend's mom. (It was similar with Shakespeare. The language could be a barrier rather than a gateway.)

The audience in the theater where I saw Topsy-Turvy was filled with devotees. You could hear their delight as they viewed the actual performances of Gilbert & Sullivan's work in the film. The director, Mike Leigh, through skillful editing and camera work, does an excellent job of photographing a stage presentation, certainly one of the best I've ever seen on film. He uses closeups, and though the actors are using an exaggerated, theatrical style, somehow the G&S material has never been clearer to me; and I've seen at least a dozen G&S performances, including two D'Oyle Carte productions (Pirates and The Mikado), the present-day descendant company of the Savoy Theater depicted in the film. People who have never seen G&S before will appreciate their work here.

Most of all, the film is very much about the highly contrasting personalities of William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan, the former emotionally restrained, the latter a hedonist. Leigh allows us to get to know them quite well and a host of other characters too, though G&S are first among equals in this excellent, ensemble cast. Among the supporting players, I found Shirley Henderson to be increasingly interesting as the film progressed, and I felt rewarded when she was the central character in the last two scenes of the film.

The period settings, manners, and speech are very accurate and detailed. As presented here, the Victorian era seems physically stifling, with people leading their lives in the close quarters of dressing rooms, offices, restaurants, living rooms, and bedrooms. Even more stifling is the emotional inhibition masked by correctly blustery forthrightness. Toward the end of the film, there's a revealing and poignant scene between Gilbert and his wife which makes this all very clear, and what also becomes clear is how important theatrical presentations were to people then as a means of expressing themselves in a culture which sanctioned few quarters to do so. It's one of the best examples of Mike Leigh's direction.

The G&S operettas were, of course, a commentary on Victorian times. In the film, you can see why they were so wildly popular. In that period, I think so many people were so restrained and distant from their own feelings that even the, to us, mannered and wordy G&S operettas were a breath of fresh air in Victorian England. The few occasions when Leigh breaks out of consistently claustrophobic medium shots and closeups are when he gives us a wide view of the full, theatrical stage.

Topsy-Turvy is about how Gilbert and Sullivan refracted Victorian England through a proscenium arch. Mike Leigh refracts it again through the camera lens in a way that allows us to see ourselves in our times by looking at G&S and their operettas in theirs. This is a long film (over two and one half hours), and given the subject matter, not to everyone's interest, though it's far more than the specifics of the period and the material. I found it to be my favorite film of the year thus far, and I highly recommend it.


26 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
what's up with the French? cwashburn
Wherefore art thou, O DVD? stevem-26
... so many fish in the sea aegisthus
Jessie Bond's Leg blondie3
Snore Lucky-63
Singing in the movie?? BassiMoto
Discuss Topsy-Turvy (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?