In 1660 A.D. in England, all theatrical roles were performed by male actors. Men were mentored at a young age to develop genuine feminine mannerisms and movements so that they could convincingly play female characters. Ned Kynaston (Billy Crudup) benefits from all of the perks of being a star of the stage, playing exclusively female roles. He powerfully portrays the character of Desdemona in the production of Othello. Maria (Claire Danes), Neds stage dresser, looks on in adoration, desiring to be an actor of the stage but cant because it is illegal for women to act. When the ban on women actors is lifted by Charles II (Rupert Everett), Maria has the opportunity to take on Kynastons role in Othello. Kynaston is now challenged to convincingly portray a man. Emotion, aggression and drama flow as Kynaston and Hughes seek to become the stage actors they are destined to be.
Stage Beauty wrestles with a mans identity confusion as he is emasculated in his childhood years in order to theatrically portray females in his adulthood. He submits himself to other men sexually in a female role. Two society women want to see if hes really a man, and its implied that he shows them the proof. Throughout this film, sex, lust, vulgar language and demeaning treatment of women are placed in the limelight. Particularly troubling is men who demean women by inappropriately grabbing their bodies and focusing on their sexuality, rather than their values and convictions. When challenged to recapture his masculinity, Kynaston is taken through a sexual exploration with a woman where he is taught to take on the male role for the first time in his life. The continual adult situations and themes that pervade this film as well as the vulgarities earn Stage Beauty a negative acceptability rating.
Many (11) times mild (hell 2, damn 2); moderate (t-t 1); strong (b-tch 1, SOB , scr-w 1, wh-re 2, other 1)
Many (10) times strong (f-word 5, c-ck 2 , b-lls 3)
Few (2) times moderate (GL 1, G 1)
Few times mild (shoving and struggling between man and woman, verbal violence)
Several times mild (implied sex between a man and a woman, implied unconventional sex between a man and a woman); moderate (man walks up behind a woman and grabs her rump, man grabs a womans breast, two women touch a mans genitals, woman and man assume a variety of sexual positions in experimentation)
Several times mild (man undresses from wearing a womans outfit uncovered torso is shown); moderate (rear nudity of two men, woman exposes her breast, rear nudity of a woman)
Several times note that the majority of these scenes involve a man dressed like a woman for theater and another thinking that he is actually a woman mild (man is massaged by another man, man is dressed as a woman, man with female mannerisms, man with female vocal pitch and inflection, older man touches a man dressed as a woman and is still interested in having relations after learning that she is actually a he); moderate (two men kiss, hug, making sexual comments to each other and are in bed together); strong (two men engage in unconventional sex, at least two conversations about unconventional sex between men)
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog:
Several times mild (a lot of sexual comments by women toward men); strong (man groans lustfully as a woman walks by, man propositions three women for sex and calls them whores)
Few times mild (large group of men and women drinking alcohol)
British words bugger and bloody were used in a derogatory manner
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