Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)  » Movies  »
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  • I watched the movie on DVD and there was a short feature where they discussed how much they enjoyed working with him

    • by tfedge

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      “Mrs. Henderson Presents” was another one of those movies that disappeared from the large screen before I had a chance to see it. I suspect this is true for many people. That’s a pity because “Mrs. Henderson Presents” is a charming, feel-good movie that will leave you feeling both wistful, and happy. Based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in London, “Mrs. Henderson Presents” tells the story of Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) and Vivian Van Damm (played by Bob Hoskins). Together they run the Windmill Theatre and start a “Revudeville.” A 24-hour a day review with women and beautiful women. Naturally the show is a great success. However other theatres soon follow suit and business suffers. In response Mrs. Henderson suggests they offer nudity onstage but they must get approval from the Lord Chamberlaind, Lord Cromer. Known to Mrs. Henderson as Tommy.

      The 2005 movie was made in the UK, filmed in color, and

      runs for 103 minutes. “Mrs. Henderson Presents” was nominated for two Oscars. Dame Judi Dench was nominated for Best Actress but lost to but lost to Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line.” The movie was also nominated for “Best Achievement for Costume Design” for Sandy Powell who lost to Colleen Atwood’s costumes for Memoirs of a Geisha.

      Dame Judi Dench is approaching her fiftieth anniversary of working in television and movies. She first appeared in “Hilda Lessways” a 1959 television adaptation of the novel by Arnold Bennett. Since then she has appeared in number roles, often playing Shakespeare and other literary adaptations, but taking time to star in two British television classics: “A Fine Romance” with her now late husband Michael Williams and “As Time Goes By” where she stars opposite Geoffrey Palmer as a couple who was reunited after fifty-some years of lost love.

      Bob Hoskins, the English actor who seems so American you expect him to spit on the sidewalk. Plays a perfect foil to Mrs. Henderson. While watching the movie you felt like you were watching their real-life friendship grow as they worked together and fought together. For me Bob Hoskins will always be Eddie Valiant the private eye from “Who Killed Roger Rabbit” who scorned owning a car in Las Angeles because the city had the finest public transportation system in the world.

      Seemingly both Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins requested Stephen Frears direct the movie. I watched the movie on DVD and there was a short feature where they discussed how much they enjoyed working with him. Frears is known to audience as director of the Oscar nominated, “The Queen” with Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. In 1991 Frears directed “The Grifters” with Anjelica Houston, Annette Bening, and John Cusack where he was also nominated for Best Director.

      “Mrs. Henderson Presents” is chockfull of pithy, poignant,

      • Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005)
      and amusing remarks.

      The Pithy:

      Vivian Van Damm: She said it’s not your fault. That can only mean one thing.

      Laura Henderson: Which is?

      Vivian Van Damm: That it is your fault!

      The Poignant:

      Laura Henderson: When you lose a son in the war you do know, no matter what anyone might say, that his death has been in vain. It won’t stop others from following, other wars, other young men.

      The Funny: when talking with the Lord Chamberlain to get permission for women to appear nude onstage.

      Lord Cromer: My dear, I’m attempting to address the disagreeable and somewhat sordid topic of the pudendum.

      Laura Henderson: What on earth is that?

      Lord Cromer: Good heavens, woman!

      Laura Henderson: Do have some more wine.

      Lord Cromer: The female part.

      Laura Henderson: Oh, the pussy!

      Lord Cromer: [Gasps]

      Laura Henderson: Why didn’t you say?

      Lord Cromer: I had not expected you, of all people, to use such language.

      Laura Henderson: That word was rather

      popular in the mid-nineteenth century. Not everyone speaks Latin, you know.

      Lord Cromer: Then I’d prefer you refer to it as ‘the midlands’.

      Laura Henderson: Oh dear, you men do get into such a state about ‘the midlands’, don’t you? Well you needn’t worry. Our lighting will be so subtle; the disputed area will be barely visible.

      [as Lord Cromer drinks his wine]

      Laura Henderson: And anyway, we’ll have a barber.

      Lord Cromer: [spits out wine and Mrs. Henderson laughs]

      This is a charming, fun, and very British movie. It reminds me of “Calendar Girls,” “Brasses Off,” and “The Full Monty.” It also reminds my of my ongoing questions, why Judi Dench wasn’t in “Calendar Girls.” She would have been perfect.

      I liked this movie very much and am happy to give it a good solid A or 94%. If you haven’t seen it, make sure you see it with a sensitive, caring person with a good sense of humor.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in December, 2007. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 11512254210731/k2311a125/12.5.07
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