The Reel Review


A successful fund manager quits her lucrative job in London to train with a renowned opera instructor in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands. Her goal – to win a national singing competition and jumpstart a new career as an opera singer. The problem? Her chief rival is a fellow student. Danielle Macdonald, Joanna Lumley and Hugh Skinner star in this musical romcom.

Danielle Macdonald and Joanna Lumley in Falling for Figaro

No surprise – Lumley brings a boatload of belly laughs to her performance as the sadistic, viper-tongued teacher. But there is more to her than meets the eye – as she sees the benefit of having her two students – one technically proficient but passionless and the other talented but inexperienced – collaborate to make each other better. While Lumley brings the dry, side-eyed humor, it is Macdonald (Dumplin’, Patti Cake$) who brings the heart, as the confident young woman unafraid of pursuing her passion.

Danielle Macdonald and Hugh Skinner in Falling for Figaro

Yes, Falling for Figaro is eye-rollingly predictable and some of the dubbed opera singing from director/co-writer Ben Lewin (The Catcher Was a Spy, The Sessions) doesn’t always perfectly line-up with his actors’ lip synching, but he does throw in a few surprises to shake things up. Falling for Figaro is an upbeat, feel-good message about following your dreams, no matter how big they may be.


Australian opera singers Stacey Alleaume and Nathan Lay

• Danielle Macdonald and Hugh Skinner’s singing was dubbed by award-winning Australian opera singers Stacey Alleaume and Nathan Lay.

• Joanna Lumley’s husband, classical conductor Stephen Barlow, served as an opera consultant on the film.

Falling for Figaro was filmed in the Scottish Highlands and Trossachs including Glencoe, Loch Lomond and two theatres in Glasgow.



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