Topsy-Turvy ★★½

I don't always advocate for traditional protagonist/antagonist and conflict structures in films, but damn this really lacked the basics of drama. Sullivan's initial dilemma of artistic stagnation is quickly overcome and discarded, and the lack of stakes from then on hamper the film immensely. Mike Leigh mostly tries to succeed on the performance element of his actors which is admittedly strong, but what his other films had that this doesn't is strong characters. The line readings are all tremendous and watching the interplay is often witty and humorous. The problem is, who exactly are these people delivering the lines? There is strong lack of distinction amongst the ensemble and without much conflict, it just kinda moves steadily to it's foregone conclusion with no fireworks or dynamics. A missed opportunity for Leigh, who mismanaged good material and a great cast.