Review: Topsy-Turvy (dir. Mike Leigh, 1999)

Well, here’s a how-de-do. British director Mike Leigh is well-known for his working-class dramas, such as Naked and Secrets and Lies, and for his uniquely improvisational approach to making them, whereby he and his actors take a premise and follow their characters’ impulses wherever they may lead. But in Topsy-Turvy, Leigh applies his technique to a true story, and of all things, it’s a richly-detailed costume drama about Gilbert and Sullivan.

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