Wednesday, September 8, 2010

#33. The Dresser (1983)

DVD Synopsis: The lives and relationships of those within a British traditional touring stage company provide the backdrop for the five-time 1983 Oscar nominee, The Dresser (Best Picture; Best Actor; Best Supporting Actor; Best Director; Best Screenplay Adaptation). The Dresser is a compelling study of the intense relationship between the leader of the company and his dresser. Sir (Albert Finney), a grandiloquent old man of the theater, has given his soul to his career, but his tyrannical rule over the company is now beginning to crack under the strain of age and illness as he prepares for his two-hundred-twenty-seventh performance of King Lear. Sir's fastidious and fiercely dedicated dresser, Norman (Tom Courtenay), submits to Sir's frequently unreasonable demands, tends to his health, and reminds him of what role he is currently playing. The two men are essential to each other's life.

The Dresser is certainly an impressive film, from its World War II setting right down to the supporting cast. Ultimately, though, The Dresser is the story of two men. 

As an aging Shakespearian actor who’s losing his grasp on reality, Albert Finney delivers a booming performance, perhaps the finest of his career, and Tom Courtenay, as his effeminate dresser, is equally as tremendous. When together, these two can bring dramatic flair to something as ordinary as applying theatrical make-up. For their performances alone, The Dresser is a film worthy of your time.



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