The Dresser (1983)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB

United Kingdom, 1983.  , , .  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by . Produced by Peter Yates.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Ronald Harwood adapts his hit Broadway play with mesmerizing results, despite making very few adjustments to the original stage setting. A heartily devoted dresser (Tom Courtenay) pushes, prods, cajoles, worships, degrades and inspires an aging, overworked actor (Albert Finney) to get on stage and get through a performance in the title role of King Lear, as the rest of the company looks on with fear that it won’t happen.  Eileen Atkins is devastating as the lonely stage manager who is all business at first but turns out to have a broken heart that emerges as the performance continues. Fantastic writing and direction create entertaining cinema out of a great backstage pass to the magical world of theatre.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actor (Tom Courtenay); Best Actor (Albert Finney); Best Director (Peter Yates); Best Adapted Screenplay

Berlin Film Festival AwardBest Actor (Albert Finney)

Golden Globe Award:  Best Actor-Drama (Tom Courtenay) (tie)
Nominations: Best Actor-Drama (Albert Finney); Best Director (Peter Yates); Best Foreign Film; Best Screenplay


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