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Stage Beauty

HD   R Closed Captioning

Richard Eyre

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About the Movie

"A woman playing a woman. Where's the trick in that?"- Welcome to the 17th century stage, where Ned Kynaston's (Billy Crudup) performance of Desdemona in Shakespeare's Othello brings the house down nightly. Ned is the "most beautiful woman on the London stage." That is, until the King renounces the royal edict that only men can play women on stage. Enter Maria (Claire Danes), Ned's seemingly loyal dresser, who becomes an instant star, leaving Ned to suppress his ardent feminine traits and make a man of himself.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 124
  • Fresh: 79
  • Rotten: 45
  • Average Rating: 6.5/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The result plays like a theater person's idea of serious cinema. – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Fresh: It has a poignancy that Shakespeare lacks, because it is about a real dilemma and two people who are trying to solve it; must Ned and Maria betray their real natures in order to find love, or accept them? – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, Jul 7, 2010

Fresh: Even if playwright Jeffrey Hatcher was a bit too tied up in his original play, there's no denying the wonderful wit at its center. – Tom Long, Detroit News, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: For Crudup, this is a career-topping, Oscar-worthy performance that goes beyond the novelty of simply dressing in women's clothes. – John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

a more introspective shakespeare in love

With all the glamour and beauty of Shakespeare in Love, Stage Beauty takes it's story a step further to explore the human psyche in relation to gender identity. An amazing film with awesome chemistry between the leads (i think this was the set Claire Danes and Billy Crudup started dating on), a great storyline and gorgeous set/costume designs. Try it; you'll like it.

Absolutely brilliant

Stage Beauty is everything Shakespeare in Love wanted to be. Stage Beauty is a dark comedy that looks into the meaning behind gender roles and how they are translated in our society. The script is tight and smart and the actors are all excellent. Do not miss this film if you are at all interested in the future of great cinema.

What a Pair!!

Claire and Billy tear it UP!! I'd watch these two do just about anything -- but put them in a thoughtful, well-written period piece like this and it's magic. If you like period movies, you'll love this, no question.

Stage Beauty
View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2005

Customer Ratings