Mrs Henderson Presents (M)

Mrs Henderson Presents (M)

Directed by Stephen Frears

I admit Im a bit of a blubberer at the movies. Biopics in particular have me reaching for the tissues because I know theyre based on true stories. Set a biopic during the turbulent years of World War II and Im a mess.

Not that its anything to be ashamed of. If a film can move you to tears it has achieved its ultimate goal.

So I went prepared to Mrs Henderson Presents, a movie I had been looking forward to for months, starring one of my favourite actresses, Judi Dench.

And I wasnt disappointed. This is a fabulous film that will make you laugh and cry.

Beginning in 1937 it tells the story of seventy-something Laura Henderson (Judi Dench). Bored with widowhood even before her husbands wake is over she is consoled by her best friend Lady Conway (Thelma Barlow) who advises her to take up a hobby and go shopping.

What Laura decides to buy is the run down Windmill Theatre which, under the experienced hands of Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins), quickly becomes a huge success with its non-stop revues entitled Revuedeville.

Unfortunately this success is short lived when all the other London theatres copy their idea. Mrs Hendersons outrageous solution: nudity! Their girls will be naked, just like at the Moulin Rouge in Paris.

But this is stuffy old London not gay Paris and its up to Laura to convince her friend Lord Cromer (Christopher Guest), who just happens to be the Lord Chamberlain, that it will be done very tastefully and artistically. Like paintings in an art gallery. He agrees reluctantly on one condition. The naked girls must not move!

Wickedly funny and often very moving, Mrs Henderson Presents is a complete joy from start to finish. Dench and Hoskins are absolutely wonderful, the girls gorgeous, the script delightfully witty and the soundtrack a real toe-tapper.

Weve been graced with some terrific films already this year and Mrs Henderson Presents is up there with the best.

And speaking of terrific, Englands Pop Idol winner, Will Young, is a knockout playing the companys leading man, Bertie.

Judi Dench may have missed out on the Oscar but this film is a winner!


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