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The Dresser (2015)

The Dresser (2015)

Anthony HopkinsIan McKellenEmily WatsonSarah Lancashire
Richard Eyre


The Dresser (2015) is a English movie. Richard Eyre has directed this movie. Anthony Hopkins,Ian McKellen,Emily Watson,Sarah Lancashire are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. The Dresser (2015) is considered one of the best Comedy,Drama movie in India and around the world.

In the closing months of World War II aging actor Sir (Sir Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Her Ladyship (Emily Watson) bring Shakespeare to the provinces with a company depleted by conscription. Sir is plainly unwell, discharging himself from the hospital and Her Ladyship believes he should cancel his upcoming performance of "King Lear". However, Norman (Sir Ian McKellen), his outspoken, gay dresser disagrees, and is determined that the show will go on, cajoling the confused Sir into giving a performance, one which will be his swan song. At the same time, drawing a parallel between King Lear and his fool as Norman, despite ultimate disappointment, serves his master.


The Dresser (2015) Reviews

  • I felt like I had a golden ticket front row at the Shaftesbury Theatre.


    Ageing actor known only as 'Sir,' is a stage actor of many talents, but sadly failing health. One night he's due on stage to give a lead role in King Lear, he fails to arrive on time and panic sets in at the Theatre, tensions are raised enough as Nazi bombs fall in the area. Sir arrives eventually, clearly ill and forgetful. He is helped, calmed, coaxed and encouraged by his dresser Norman to prepare and go on. Sir gives a fine performance, but tragically dies. It's a very famous story, penned by Ronald Harwood, originally adapted back in 1983 when Tom Courtenay and Albert Finney shared the stage, so it felt like time for a refresh. The casting of Hopkins was brilliant, he was funny, charismatic, stubborn and commanding, I truly thought he was excellent. McKellan I think it's fair to say stole the show as Norman, his performance I can only describe as Wizardry, he was just sensational, and if he doesn't get some kind of award for this I'll be speechless. The interplay between the two was just glorious, talk about two greats showcasing their extraordinary talents. Every single member of the supporting cast were also brilliant, Emily Watson, Sarah Lancashire, Edward Fox, Vanessa Kirkby, Tom Brooke, what a great job done by the Casting Director. So many wonderful scenes to speak of, I particularly liked Hopkins transformation scene into King Lear, an I also loved how expertly McKellen went from sober to drunk. Overall 9/10 (Very close to being worth the License Fee alone.)

  • Superb Acting in This Deep Drama


    There's superb acting in this deep and powerful drama, adapted to the screen by Ronald Harwood, based on his own play, and ably directed by Richard Eyre. It will probably appeal only to a certain slice of viewers, those that can get into a deliberately paced and dialogue driven film and are not looking for an action flick. The lead actors here Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellen, Emily Watson, and Sarah Lancashire are all excellent in their roles. with a fine supporting cast enhancing the movie. To be honest, I hadn't heard of Lancashire before, but she was quite amazing in a very understated performance, and one scene with Hopkins was truly mesmerizing. All in all, I found this film became even more powerful as it progressed and with its superb acting, writing, and direction can certainly be recommended for those that like a heavy and most well presented drama.

  • 'The Dresser': A Great Cast Spins Some Gold


    The new BBC-Starz production of Ronald Harwood's 'The Dresser' is a riveting play-within-a-play and then some that throws its arms around the subjects of life, lessened dreams and simply getting on with it. Directed and adapted by Richard Eyre with a cast headed by Ian McKellen, Anthony Hopkins and Emily Watson, the work focuses on a Shakespearean troupe that tours the outskirts of England (very pointedly, not London) during the bombing, quite literally, of that country during World War II. Each night the troupe performs a different Shakespearean play, come hell or high water. Tonight, it's "King Lear," with Hopkins's character, who is called Sir (for the outside hope that he will one day be knighted by the Queen), in the lead. Attending him backstage is his loyal dresser _ his costume man _ Norman, played by Ian McKellen. What transpires is a nigh-on perfect production (Rotten Tomatoes gave it a perfect 100%) that sails along all too quickly with no down spots, not only giving us a dead-on accurate view of the theatrical world and those who dedicate their lives to it if even in the shadows, but as fine a treatise on life and love as you've experienced in any medium anywhere, at any time. The story opens as we await the arrival of Sir from the hospital, with a conversation between the long-suffering dresser Norman and Her Ladyship (Emily Watson, in another terrific turn), an aging actress pressed into playing one of Lear's daughters, Cordelia, who knows she's too old for the role _ slashing reviews never let her forget it _ but who stays with it because of her love for Sir and the hope he will leave the business and settle down with her. Ah, but Her Ladyship isn't the only woman in love with Sir. There's also Madge, the tough stage manager. As played by the wildly versatile Sarah Lancashire, whom we've seen portray everything from hard-bitten cops to frazzled shopkeepers, it's a character with more layers than the proverbial onion. What's wrong with Sir, is it a physical problem or mental? Will he survive? Will he show up? When the old actor finally does arrive backstage spouting a riff of quotations, his own mixed with Shakespeare's, we worry that he might expire before he can be carted before the footlights. Watching McKellen and Hopkins in apparently their first performance together is like watching two world-class surgeons at the top of their games doing open-heart surgery on the same patient at the same time. It's overwhelming. But the good news is that the two great actors don't compete for attention and become show-boats. Instead they have a mutual trust and respect for each other that is palpable. The characters benefit greatly from this, and so do we. One of the production's most effective, poignant and revealing moments is provided by the veteran actor Edward Fox, who portrays a supporting performer trapped in a "play-as-cast" cycle, lesser parts falling somewhere between cameos and spear carriers. His final speech to Sir not only encapsulates the lot of actors universally, but the needs and longings of people outside the business as well. "The Dresser" has been previously presented in the U.K. and on Broadway, as well as in a 1983 film, but this version takes a back seat to none other and may well be the best offering yet. It comes with the highest recommendation.

  • Reviving the actor


    Ronald Harwood's stage play was adapted for film in 1983 and received multiple Oscar nominations and a fruity performance from Albert Finney. Harwood's play has now been adapted for television. Harwood wanted it to be a stage revival with Anthony Hopkins but he called time on his stage career several decades ago and so we get Hopkins for the television film. I remember soon after Laurence Olivier died, it was Hopkins who introduced a special tribute programme on the BBC. Then he was regarded as an actor who never quiet fulfilled his immense talent on the stage or screen. He had been Olivier's understudy at the National Theater. Wild living and booze got the better off him. Hopkins was not averse to do highly paid thrash like Hollywood Wives for American television. He would also do more credible British television films, usually for the BBC and every now and then wow the stage in plays such as David Hare's Pravda. Within a few years after that introduction of that tribute to Olivier, Hopkins entered his own golden era first by bagging a best actor Oscar for Silence of the Lambs. He would get three other Oscar nominations in the 1990s and got to work with directors such as Spielberg and Oliver Stone. He would be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation. In The Dresser Hopkins returns to BBC television after some years and teams up with Ian McKellen for the first time on-screen. McKellen is the loyal, camp, alcoholic dresser to Hopkin's Sir, the domineering actor-manager (based on Sir Donald Wolfit) touring up and down the various stages of Britain during World War 2. In his advancing years and in ill health, he is not up to playing the big roles, in this case King Lear. He needs all the help from his Dresser just to get on the stage and recite the opening lines. Hopkins lays bare an actor who once thrilled the crowd, womanised, was adored and is self absorbed. Emily Watson plays the much maligned wife who in many ways has had enough of him, always playing second fiddle to the detriment of her own career. Then again so has the waspish McKellen and we see in the end as his anger and vindictiveness bubbles through. Director Richard Eyre has deliberately not opened the play up too much. It is kept small and intimate. We get to see Hopkins deliver bits of King Lear as Sir gets to the stage and delivers one big final performance. Look out for Edward Fox playing an actor drafted in at the last moment to play the Fool who delivers a tender monologue when he drops by to pay his respects to Sir after the performance.

  • The Thunder, The Storm, and the Passing


    Ronald Harwood has adapted his very successful play THE DRESSER for the screen and under Richard Eyre's direction and the consummate skills of a brilliant cast this made for television film is one of the finest pieces of cinema of the year. The story is as much about the aging process as it is about the frustrations and challenges of being on the stage a bit past the moment when lines can be remembered and directions not as natural as once they were become a challenge. It is also a very fine study of British theater – not the glowing lights 'Broadway' type, but the little touring countries that brought and bring Shakespeare to the people in the little towns where the audiences respect theater. The film opens during the blitz of England during WW II in a rundown old theater that despite the blitz an audience has packed the house for a production by a small, struggling theater company of Shakespeare's 'King Lear'. The titular head of the company (Sarah Lancashire) worries that aging actor 'Sir' (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife Her Ladyship (Emily Watson) will be able to perform. 'Sir' is plainly unwell, discharging himself from hospital and Her Ladyship believes he should cancel his upcoming performance of 'King Lear'. However Norman (Ian McKellen), his outspoken, gay dresser disagrees and is determined that the show will go on, cajoling the confused 'Sir' into giving a performance - one which will be his swansong, at the same time drawing a parallel between King Lear and his fool as Norman, despite ultimate disappointment, serves his master. The relationship between Sir and Norman is profound and in the end very touching. Hopkins and McKellen and Watson are in top form and are ably supported by Lancashire, Edward Fox (unrecognizable in his costume as the Fool), and Vanessa Kirby. This is a splendid film on every count and one that deserves many awards.


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