February 19th, 2006


Mrs. Henderson Presents

Mrs Henderson Presents is a great film in so many ways.

1. Judi Dench. Ingenues are all well and good, but Judi Dench's vitality, wit, and intelligence in this role upstages a half dozen naked women, and she's 72.

2. Bob Hoskins. Americans, unfortunately, will always associate him with Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Mermaids, but he is dependably awesome in nearly everything. Though I don't hold high hopes for Garfield's a Tale of Two Kitties.

3. Christopher Guest. He is really funny, always, without raising his voice or mugging about.

4. Naked Women -- always a plus. A shot of a naked Bob Hoskins is mercifully short.

5. Musical Theatre. This movie is a drama/comedy, but it's also a stealth musical, and I thought quite a good one. Maybe it's because I have a brother who has been writing musicals, but when it's done right, nothing beats it.

6. Stephen Frears. This movie got mixed reviews, from reviewers who weren't sold on the musical numbers, but Frears is no slacker. This film is brilliantly written, photographed, edited, and acted, all of which go back to him. The film is also 'about film' in that it is an homage to screwball comedies and movie musicals, but it is not just an homage. It is all the things it comments on -- it may be meta, but it isn't ironic.