Currently browsing the "Judy Dench" tag.

Review: Victoria & Abdul

20 years ago Judy Dench was nominated for her role as Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown, a retelling of the Queen’s unconventional relationship with her Scottish groom. Victoria & Abdul is almost a sequel to that film. In it she develops another unorthodox friendship, this time with a handsome, young man named Abdul who has come from India to England for her Golden Jubilee.  Initially hired as a waiter, he quickly becomes her closest confidant and teacher (Munshi), which doesn’t sit well with her family, nor with her government. The film opens with “based on real events – mostly”, and it is that vein that you should view the history in it. Go for Dench’s performance and the warm story.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel picks up slightly after the original ended, and if you did not see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel you could be a bit confused as to the relationships. All the same old folks are living in the ramshackle hotel in Jaipur, India, having ditched their old ways of defining themselves and it is going pretty well. Where the first one was about finding themselves, this one is about finding love. As with the first, a pretty straight forward story is elevated by an amazing cast including Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, and this time Richard Gere. It is a lot of fun!

Philomena

2013 is the year of the “based on a true story” movie. The latest addition to the group is Philomena a tragicomic tale from director Stephen Frears (The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons.) It stars the ever wonderful Judi Dench in what is turning out to be a much nominated role. She plays Philomena, an old Irish woman whose life has been colored by the theft of her adorable little son Anthony back when she was an unwed teenage mum sent to live in a convent. She has kept the story secret for decades, but realizing that it would be her son’s 50th birthday, she decides to come clean to her daughter. The daughter thinks the story should be told, so she introduces her mom to a journalist she met at a party. And the rest is essentially a very engaging odd couple road trip in search of the son.