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Topsy-Turvy Movie Poster
Plot, Details & Awards

Topsy-Turvy

Rated R for a scene of risque nudity.

R In Theaters 01/14/2000 , 160min.
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Plot & Details

Noted for intimate character studies created in collaboration with his actors, director Mike Leigh makes a dramatic change of pace with this biography of comic opera composers W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Gilbert (Jim Broadbent) is an easily angered but otherwise emotionally remote lyricist who works in collaboration with composer Sullivan (Alan Corduner), a genial and fun-loving sort who feels unsatisfied writing light operettas and longs to work with more serious material. While Sullivan is having a creative crisis, Gilbert is facing a failing marriage to Lucy (Lesley Manville), who loves her husband even if he can't return her affections, and must deal with his ailing father (Charles Simon). When they suffer their first failure, both men are depressed, and Sullivan announces that he's giving up operetta for good. However, a visit to an exhibit of Japanese art sparks an idea in Gilbert, and soon he and Sullivan are hard at work on what will become one of their greatest successes, The Mikado. Much of the film is devoted to the staging of this classic, with Shirley Henderson, Dorothy Atkinson, Martin Savage, Timothy Spall, and Kevin McKidd as members of the operetta's cast. Jim Broadbent won Best Actor at the 1999 Venice Film Festival.

Awards

Academy Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Costume Design Lindy Hemming Won
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup Trefor Proud Won
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Original Screenplay Mike Leigh Nominated
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction John Bush Nominated
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Art Direction Eve Stewart Nominated
1999 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Best Makeup Christine Blundell Won

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Makeup and Hair Christine Blundell Won
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Supporting Actor Timothy Spall Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Actor Jim Broadbent Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best British Film Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Original Screenplay Mike Leigh Nominated

British Academy of Film and Television Arts

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Makeup and Hair Christine Blundell Won
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Supporting Actor Timothy Spall Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Actor Jim Broadbent Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best British Film Nominated
1999 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Best Original Screenplay Mike Leigh Nominated

Independent Spirit Awards

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 Independent Spirit Awards Best Foreign Film Mike Leigh Nominated

National Society of Film Critics

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 National Society of Film Critics Best Director Mike Leigh Won
1999 National Society of Film Critics Best Actor - Runner-up Jim Broadbent Won
1999 National Society of Film Critics Best Picture Won

New York Film Critics Circle

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 New York Film Critics Circle Best Picture Won
1999 New York Film Critics Circle Best Director Mike Leigh Won

Venice International Film Festival

Year Award CategoryCast & Crew Result
1999 Venice International Film Festival Volpi Cup for Best Actor Jim Broadbent Won

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