Director Mike Leigh is best known for gritty films about contemporary British life, and for letting their scripts emerge from collaborative improvisations with his actors. It's hard to imagine what drew him to the story of W.S. Gilbert (Jim
Broadbent) and Arthur Sullivan (Allan Corduner) — England's masters of light opera — and the creation of The Mikado
. But how marvelous that he was; this slice of ruthlessly genteel Victorian life is charming, witty and offers its ensemble cast a wealth of dramatic opportunities.
, considered one of Gilbert and Sullivan's best works, was their ninth collaboration. Although their names are inevitably linked...