Sunday in the Park with George - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunday in the Park with George Reviews

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½ February 22, 2017
A beautifully directed and written musical, with strong performances by Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters. Though a little slow, the show is brought to life by Sondheim's wonderful score, Lapine's terrific direction, and outstanding work by its leads and ensemble cast. Just another masterpiece from some of Broadway's best!
May 29, 2014
Best musical ever made. Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece carefully crafted along side brilliant musical theatre veterans mandy patinkin, and Bernadette peters. Beautifully directed, with an all star ensemble Cast. The songs are top notch, not a musical for everyone, but it's passionate and resonates with any true artist. Everyone can come away learning something from this show. It won no tony awards the year it debuted, but instead won a Pulitzer Prize which is a rarity in the world of theatre. A true classic, definitely and clearly made in the 80s but still has a breath of fresh air to it still to this day. A perfect musical in every sense. -Matthew Johnston
May 3, 2013
A beautiful show and performance.
August 27, 2011
Fantastic Broadway show!! Never gets old.
August 26, 2011
Not one of my favorite Sondheim musicals. The music was great as always, but the story was a bit confusing.
½ July 31, 2011
Plus intello, tu meurs. Mais la musique est bien, les paroles très bien, la mise en scène remarquable et les acteurs excellents. Sondheim sait composer de la musique pointilliste et faire r (C)fl (C)chir sur l'art, la cr (C)ation, et les difficult (C)s li (C)es aux deux, il y a cent ans ou au vingtième siècle.
May 4, 2011
The best musical ever written. Sondheim's music sweeps the floor out from under you one minute, and drenches your face in tears the next. A timeless story, and a breathtaking theatrical adventure. Genius.
March 17, 2011
Beautifully shot, sung, and acted. With a very complex and intelligent score. However, Its also extremely complex and difficult to fully understand. So be prepared for that going in.
June 27, 2010
He said "I don't owe a normal girl anything but you're kind of a nut!!!" LMAO!! This movie is so cute-funny. Loved it!
½ April 29, 2010
Impeccably acted by an intensely strong ensemble cast and featuring a near-perfect score from the always reliable Stephen Sondheim. A must-see as far as theatre goes.
April 25, 2010
Such a beautiful movie with amazing performances by Bernadette and Mandy.

Finally, I know where these songs fit in the story.
April 23, 2010
Colour and Light

A couple of years ago, we talked some about how hard it is sometimes for Sondheim fans. He's probably one of the best-known creators in the history of musical theatre, for what that's worth, but at the same time, we are doomed, in a way, to disappointment. This came to Seattle, last year, one of three stops the tour was doing in the entire country. (Why Seattle? Your guess is as good as mine.) I desperately, desperately wanted to go. However, the cheap seats started at forty dollars, which I couldn't really afford, and I'd really want two, because I wouldn't want to go alone--it's not as much fun, for starters--and I would have had to have gotten there and back, and what with one thing and another, it didn't happen. I'm told the movie of [i]A Little Night Music[/i], one of the two I've seen live, is dreadful. And we are never, ever getting a movie version of [i]Assassins[/i]. I know I said that about [i]Sweeney Todd[/i], years ago, but that's a normal movie compared to what [i]Assassins[/i] would be. And this is an episode of [i]American Playhouse[/i] anyway--and they didn't even do that for [i]Assassins[/i] when it was on Broadway and starred Neil Patrick Harris.

Dot (Bernadette Peters) is the model for and lover of painter Georges Seurat, who invented what is generally referred to as pointillism but which he considered Neo-impressionism. It makes Dot's name a not-very-subtle pun, you see. Anyway, every Sunday, he and Dot go out to La Grande Jatte, an island in the river half an hour from the city, which is a park where people go on Sunday to get away from their daily lives. Georges paints the various regulars, including his "dotty mother" (Barbara Bryne), who doesn't recognize him half the time, and her nurse (Judith Moore); fellow painter Jules (Charles Kimbrough) and his wife, Yvonne (Dana Ivey), and daughter, Louise (Natalie Polizzi); a surly boatman (William Parry) and his dog; Celeste (Melanie Vaughan), Celeste (Mary D'Arcy), a solider (Robert Westenberg), and his companion (a large cardboard cutout); servants Freida (Nancy Opel) and Franz (Brent Spiner); and Louis (Cris Groenendaal) the baker. And one by one, they are painted onto that giant canvas. Act II features George (Patinkin) and his grandmother, Marie (Peters), who claims to be Georges' daughter by Dot. And George goes back to Paris to connect.

I think I saw this painting once, many years ago. I know I have seen some Seurat, and I know my experience with it sadly parallels the original exhibition of the painting. It was 1984, and a tour of Impressionist paintings did a stop in Los Angeles--which makes sense, especially given it was very close to the Olympics. My mother is a member of half the museums in LA, so we went, my mother seeming to be of the opinion that you should experience as much art as possible when you have the chance. I would not turn eight until later that year, and while I think I was tall for my age, a tall eight-year-old is still generally shorter than even a short adult. In practical terms, this meant that I wasn't able to stand far enough away from the painting to get a good look without an adult standing in front of me. It was also rather dim in there, which is intended to keep the colours from fading and the paintings otherwise getting damaged, I know, but you do need a certain amount of light to get the right effect, and I didn't. All of which makes the painting the only reason I have any interest in going to Chicago.

We do not, the musical tells us at the beginning, know much about the life of Georges Seurat, but we know that this isn't it. He did have a commonlaw wife, but she was still with him when he died. They had two sons, neither of whom survived. One rather suspects their life would be difficult to hang a musical off of, and it would be impossible to do the second act, given the line is extinct. And, of course, all the other characters have sprung from the brow of Zeus, as it were; heck, there is that soldier played by a giant cardboard cutout (well, probably something sturdier), which is definitely Sondheim amusing himself. In the second act, Blair Daniels (Barbara Bryne) talks about the mysterious rectangular object in the painting, which is apparently said to be a baby carriage, but the point is more than we know so little about the man that it almost is a guess. For some reason, this painting attracts notice--see also Cameron staring at it during the pause in the hilarity of [i]Ferris Beuller's Day Off[/i]--and if you have to invent the painter to make the story, well, that's art.

I think Sondheim gets a bad rap in certain circles because his tunes aren't hummable. This is, of course, generally true, though I'll find the melodies haunting my brain for days sometimes. However, what is more likely to get stuck in my head is the lyrics. They are witty and clever and full of improbable rhymes and rhyme schemes. Leonard Bernstein believed this to be a deeply personal statement on Sondheim's part, and it is certainly true that it says a great deal about art and the drive to create it. What it says about Sondheim's relationship with women is perhaps best left unexplored, though I think it worth noting that both Georges and George which their relationships could be other than they are. George hurts Dot a great deal, more than he may realize, but he does it because he thinks hurting her in that way is better than continuing to hurt her in the way he has been. It is best, in the end, that she leaves him. Probably.
½ January 2, 2010
One of Sondheim's best shows, and probably THE best musical he did with Lapine. Patinkin and Peters were great in this and the score is amazing. Every Theatre buff must see this.
June 28, 2009
Once again, Bernadette Peters shows why she's so fantastic and the the Queen of Broadway!! Nothing short of amazing! Not a Mandy Patinkin fan but he played Seurat so well! He played the 'weird' artist to a T! I'm familiar w/ the painting so I thought the set was remarkable! Not your typical big-number, show-stopping musical, but it's entertaining enough. If u like big production numbers, this musical's not for you...Enjoyable & a Bway 'classic'.
March 17, 2009
A wonderful stageing of Sondheim's landmark musical
½ February 24, 2009
Art isn't easy is the common mantra running through Sondheim's musical treatment of the life of George Seurat, but damn if it isn't made to look just that.
January 15, 2009
Will I clutter my Netflix queue with Broadway shows? Of course.
December 3, 2008
bit by bit, putting it together. The use of staccato in this play is fantastic. I've never seen a play like this before. It is a very inventive look into the mind of a true artist, obsessed with the perfection of his piece.
September 19, 2008
I like Sweeney Todd better, but very interesting. Patinkin is great, and I liked Bernadette Peters a lot. Loved "Sunday in the Park with George," "Finishing the Hat," and for some reason, "Everybody Loves Louis." And the opening number of Act II ("It's Hot Up Here"). Didn't like the beginning of Act II ("chromolume?"), but it got better. Overall, the score is great. Thought the American characters were pretty funny.
The passion that went into every aspect of the show is obvious, and I like that.
½ September 18, 2008
interesting musical...a bit long and I think that if you aren't familiar with the painting or the artist you might not be able to follow...but for the rest of us, I found entertaining and thought provoking.
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