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Tipping the Velvet
Tipping the Velvet
I.D. 9262 & dvd_0062, Unrated
2004, 178 min.
Acorn Media
Directed by Geoffrey Sax
 

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$24.99

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5-Star Film! 

Starring
Rachael Stirling, Keeley Hawes, Anna Chancellor & Jodhi May.

Description
[CC] Unconventional, unflinching, and undeniably engaging, this coming-of-age story is about a provincial young woman who follows her heart - and a beautiful male impersonator - to London. It's also a candid depiction of lesbian love in Victorian England.

Andrew Davies adapted Sarah Waters's acclaimed novel, and the result is an unforgettable drama that The Seattle Times calls "flat-out sublime."

This is the fully unedited version as shown in the UK!

For more information, screensavers and wallpapers, visit the official BBC site: www.bbc.co.uk/tipping

To see more screencaps from each of the three episodes in this series, please visit their pages on ELMS. All three episodes appear on this DVD:
Episode #1
Episode #2
Episode #3

Please note: this title is only available on DVD.

DVD Features
Region 1 playable only (US and Canada), 16x9 anamorphic wide-screen format, interview with Sarah Walters (author) and Andrew Davies (adapted screenplay), photo gallery, cast filmographies, in English with optional English subtitles.

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PhatHead
Tipping the Velvet This has got to be, from an overall perspective of production value, storytelling, quality performances, and sheer running time, the best bang for the buck in the arena of lesbian-interest movie making. It does NOT skimp on the sex/lovemaking scenes either. Note that I separated the two because in the case of this movie, they can be distinguished between and they do actually matter. This is a movie you shouldnít just search through for the juicy parts, because if you let the story grab you, those same parts will seem even juicier.

The movie is essentially broken up into three 1-hour episodes on the DVD (as it ran as a mini series on television). It covers the sexual awakening of a young English girl, from her first attractions for a stage actress, to finding a true life partner, and the incredible messes that happen in between. I could go into some detail on the plot, but my summary would have to be too long for a review to do it justice.

Just know that, even when not directed by her quest for the love of another woman, the twists and turns the events take will hold your attention with ease. Iíve watched this movie several times before. I tried searching through it for highlights to note for this review, and found it damn near impossible. Itís funny, sad, tragic, and uplifting all at different moments - but always engaging.

This is the kind of production Iíd like to see, albeit on a smaller scale, much more often. Itís tasteful, artistic, and the love scenes are truly sensual and passionate.

1) Buildup/Seduction: This movie is all about circumstances. Circumstances and longing. When the sexual tension finally does boil over, itís so much more worthwhile.
Score: 10

2) Kissing: Soft and sensual kissing is had in each of the love scenes. This score is hard for me to peg because as good as the kissing is, itís still a movie, so donít rate this score against something from a different genre.
Score: 9

3) Attractiveness of Women: The women are all beautiful and feminine, even when supposedly dressed in drag for the purposes of imitating a man.
Score: 8

OVERALL SCORE: 9.

Habahash
I managed to catch this on Finnish national TV before I saw it on the Lezlove front page and realized BBC had released it on DVD. Needless to say I didn't think twice about getting the DVD!

Superb television drama, exactly the quality of acting and production what I expect when BBC is involved. With the level of TV currently, this had to be one of the few highlights of 2003 for me.

A lovely story that had me glued to the couch for three Wednesday evenings, and I usually can't stand any of the man+woman love story drama. I guess an interesting theme is all it takes. You definitely don't want to miss this!

Anon in 'Bama
"Tipping the Velvet" is the complete three-part series of the BBC production based on the book of the same name by Sarah Waters. The production values and the casting are both excellent, but since this aired on British television don't expect anything too explicit. There's some nudity and lots of good kissing, but that's about it.

Part one follows Nan Astley, a young oyster girl living in a coastal town in southern England in the late 1800's, as she develops a deep crush on Kitty Butler, a theater performer whose song-and-dance act involves her dressing like a boy. Nan goes with Kitty to London where their relationship becomes more intimate, despite the fact that Kitty is also seeing her manager, Walter Bliss, on the side. There's one good love scene in the small room the two women share together. But when Nan later discovers that Kitty and Walter are engaged she leaves distraught.

In part two Nan sinks to prostitution to make ends meet, eventually meeting a thoroughly despicable older wealthy woman named Diana Lethaby. Diana turns Nan into her girl/boy-toy, exhibiting her at her decadent lesbian parties. The relationship between Nan and Diana is based exclusively on their mutual lusts, and inevitably they get into a serious fight and Nan finds herself back on the streets.

In part three Nan wanders into the Bethnal Green section of London friendless and broke, where she then comes into contact with Flora Banner and her brother Ralph, who take her in as a housekeeper. Flora is initially wary of Nan, but over time the two women become lovers. Their scene together is very soft and tender, with no nudity but a lot of good kissing. In time, Nan returns to the stage where once again she comes into contact with Kitty Butler. Who will she end up with, Kitty or Flora?

While this video will hardly satisfy those wanting something XXX, I found it to be a very entertaining and well-produced period piece very enjoyable to watch! I didn't care much for the premise of women trying to look like boys, but I still liked this video nonetheless.

jayspot
I love this film from start to finish. The acting and storyline are superb! Not for hardcore fans, for there is no explicit action but what it provides is outstanding performances by the lead actress and the rest of the British cast.

I rented this film expecting to watch it over two nights due to the over 3 hrs needed to watch the entire film, but after getting into the storyline I couldn't stop and before I knew it the film was over!

If you love a good story and appreciate acting at it's best, go and either rent or buy this film (which I will be doing). It's a definite 5 Star!

will-B-fair
I liked this movie, I liked it a lot! It is not only a great story, a major production, and superb acting performances. It is also highly erotic, at least it is to me. All the women on this film are to die for, I wouldn't know which one to pick. It's pity that it was made for TV, so they couldn't go too deep with the sex scenes, yet I found my self pretty excited watching this movie. I recommend it!

Jenny
Simply beautiful. The cinematography reminds me a little of Cynara. Soft lighting, 19th century costumes, elegant sets, and women with style and beauty.

Once again, this is a movie with a real plot, so don't expect a sex extravaganza - it's more about love than sex. However, there is some very nice kissing between them through the course of this long film.

I won't go into details about the movie so you can appreciate it for yourself, but you'll find it both emotionally powerful, and erotically stimulating.

Recommended? If you have any aesthetic taste for lesbian films, you should see Tipping The Velvet. If you just want sex - skip it. Grade: A+

Lotus
I agree with everyone, this is a very erotically charged movie. Though the fairly brief sex scenes never go beyond deep kissing and partial nudity, the well acted scenes of women quietly lusting for each other and falling in love are sexier than the hardcore dildo jamming nonsense found in so many lesbian porn movies.

I only wish that we could see all the lovemaking that happens after the scenes fade or cut away, but instead we are left to our imagination. Thatís not so bad though, as they say, the most important sex organ is the brain. This movie was VERY GOOD.

Rating system: AWFUL, BAD, FAIR, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT.

Lesbian Always
I agree with Lotus: "falling in love is more sexy than the sex". I also agree with all the reviewers above about this an awesome and romantic series. And I love the last part of the series. I have the book and it's much more interesting. But what can you say? Sex scenes often have the limits in TV productions. Yup, I wish it could be more to it :)

Anyways, it is worth your money if you are not "crazy" about porn-like movies, that is. Ever watch British movies/series before? If not, try one! American and British productions are very different!!! By the way, get the DVD where it has more features. Rating: Excellent!

maylith
A great book that the BBC turned in to a great mini-series. If you saw this on BBC America, you need to realize that BBC America cut nearly an hour from the production. Sarah Waters is a great author, and this was a great adaptation of her work.

Anonymous
And if nothing else in the reviews above grabs you: Keeley Hawes is a goddess!

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