Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) Poster

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An all-round British triumph
bushbabyskip30 December 2005
How to start on this spectacular film?

The music is superb, Fenton did a sterling job in providing the score for this enthralling musical. Judi Dench sits, as always, perfectly in the role of rebellious Laura Henderson, and her rapport with Bob Hoskins gives a punch to the storyline. The stunning Kelly Reilly combines her English-rose appearance with wartime tenacity and delivers a truly believable and moving performance throughout. Will Young, a surprise casting for many, heads the musical cast with an almost scarily convincing performance as the energetic performer, Bertie. He's rightly received glowing reviews after his substantial appearance in the movie, most notably from Dench and Hoskins themselves - inspired casting by Frears.

This film is a perfect example of typically British humour and attitudes, particular during WWII - In fact it's been a hit with many people from the era (when I went to see it I was surrounded not least by people of 60 and over who reacted to the film with raucous laughter and many a teary eye). I whole heartedly recommend this film to anyone with a love of music, comedy, history, Britain or simply bloody good acting.
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The Best little movie you'll never hear of!
carriecerta15 December 2005
Long time viewer of but first time poster. I just HAD to post after that negative listing I saw because I couldn't disagree more! I found the movie hilarious and touching. The history of the Windmill Theatre is extraordinary! I come from a theater background and currently work in production for television and film... and I just loved this movie. From the script, to the costuming, the acting, music and imagery... beautiful. My only complaint would be to the Weinsteins - where is the PR??? Dench and Hoskins are amazing! Oscar contenders for sure! I know it won't be released wide until January and I do hope it picks up speed because there's no good reason NOT to see this movie - there's humor, nudity, history, a little romance, a little violence... it has something for everyone!
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Gently amusing British wartime film with superb music
svw4 December 2005
I cannot believe how badly this lovely film has been savaged on IMDb.

Apart from spectacular vaudeville staging, Judi Dench plays her eccentric, mischievous widow to perfection and the excellent Bob Hoskins is cast surprisingly out of type as a reserved, rather complex, gentlemanly but iron-willed theatre manager. Their argumentative relationship is amusing without being overbearing, as the film is essentially a nicely balanced ensemble piece. Dench's character Laura Henderson turns out to have a very touching motivation for her desire to stage daring musicals for brave young men off to war. Will Young gives an astonishingly strong vocal performance throughout. His mannered vocal style is perfect, and he looks every inch the part on stage. His few brief moments of acting are nothing to blush over either. Kelly Reilly, the star of the naked girlie reviews, is quite simply mesmerising to watch, and ultimately her character is full of pathos.

And if none of that were enough to engage you, you've got an interesting wartime plot, based on true events in the history of the Windmill Theatre, which in current circumstances feels highly topical and relevant for Londoners. 9/10
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A feel good experience
robrpc-11 January 2006
This little gem was given a bad review by a local newspaper critic and I couldn't disagree more!! I loved it. Judy Dench (the wonderful) and Bob Hoskins are fabulous in their roles and I loved the flirtatious undercurrents. This film made me laugh and cry .... I left the theatre feeling lovely ... what more could you ask for in a movie?? The history of the Windmill Theatre and the (ludicrious) laws allowing the nudes on stage was very interesting. I think Will Young did very well in his first movie, I am an oldie who enjoys his singing. All in all a great movie, Judy Dench fans wont be disappointed, and I hope some younger movie goers give it a go as its well worth the viewing.
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A wonderful movie
jimpryke14 December 2005
I saw this movie last night at a screening in Sedona,AZ. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the show. The casting was perfect. The sets were marvelous. The acting was superb. The chemistry between Judith Dench and Bob Hoskins was palpable and just fun to watch. Kelly Reilly, Will Young, Christopher Guest, Thelma Barlow and the remainder of the cast brought to life a very poignant story of a slice of life in WWII London and the spirit of the people of the West End theater district. All of the storytelling, dancing, singing and script was masterfully choreographed and crafted by the collaboration of Director Stephen Frears and Writer Martin Sherman to produce an extremely entertaining movie well worth a few hours of your time and worthy of all the acclaim I'm sure it will receive. A must see movie.
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MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS is a brilliant film and a great story.
screenwriter-1410 December 2005
Judi Dench as MRS. HENDERSON is a joy to watch from the first scene in the cemetery to the last scene on a roof top in London. A powerful story of a rich English woman who strikes gold with an investment in a theater in London during World War II and turns her investment into a brilliant refuge for her audience as bombs drop all around the theater.

Bob Hoskins turns in a performance as brilliant as Ms. Dench and the two of the them on the screen together is such a pleasure to watch two polished and professional actors light up the screen. The chemistry between them is marvelous, and their scenes together are filled with tremendous writing and biting humor. A "cinematic joy" just in time for the Awards season.

MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS brings us back to the time of World War II and visually shows us the strength of character which the English people had in fighting the Germans and the tremendous sacrifices made by Great Britain to win the war. The supporting cast of beautiful women, and the marvelous role Christopher Guest has in the movie makes this film one to remember and cherish during the holiday season.

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It is rare that a movie can make you laugh and cry
alecchristie3 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Magnificent performances from Bob Hoskins and Judi Dench make this the film of 2005. It is a fantastic example of British cinema doing what it does best. Combining a period setting with comedy, pathos and tragedy this is a film that takes you from tears to laughter in a matter of moments. Judi Dench's opening scene takes us from the sober and controlled environment of a pre-war aristocratic Englishman's funeral to a moment of pure emotional release in the apparent privacy of a rowing boat on an English river. Mrs Henderson copes with the loss of her father not by attending coffee mornings or charity functions, but by purchasing the Windmill Theatre and putting on a bawdy burlesque revue. Enter Bob Hoskins as Vivian Van Damm, the cigar smoking Dutch Jewish theatre manager. The two have a love hate relationship which is so well acted the chemistry between the two of them is electric. (possible spoiler) At one point Mrs Henderson approaches Vivian Van Damm after he has received news of the round up of Dutch Jews by the Nazis. This scene is underplayed which such sensitivity by both actors it elicited an emotional response in myself and all the people I was watching the film with. Excellent casting from Leo Davis. Kelly Reilly is the one to watch out for in 2006. Thelma Barlow and Christopher Guest were hilarious as Lady Conway and Lord Cromer. Martin Sherman script is clever, witty and deeply moving. I left with a tear in my eye and joy in my heart. Unmissable. And Will Young can act as well as sing.
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A winner
hmd432123 October 2005
A lovely movie. The idea that a movie about a strip joint could be so classy and funny seems absurd. Yet here is a loving portrayal of London's Windmill Theatre whose motto "We never closed" (or, as some wags used to say, "We never clothed")sustained them through World War Two and at least into the 60s. Judy Dench seems to have shed her Dameness for a a high old time as a very glamorous, and slightly camp, septuagenarian. Bob Hoskins (also producer) is very restrained yet determined as her adversarial business partner. And Christopher Guest puts in a surprise appearance as the Lord Chamberlin befuddled at having to grant a license to such a licentious business enterprise. It is he that comes up with the idea that nudes absolutely still on stage are "art". The depiction of the London Blitz is romantic and at one moment tragically graphic. A must for Denchophiles, Anglophiles, nude lovers, showbiz types, and anyone who likes a good yarn well told.
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Quite astoundingly good
Valmont19422 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I went to see this film, not expecting very much, but provoked, in part, by a review by Jeffrey Lyons proclaiming it to be the best picture of the year. I was delighted to find that the film quite exceeded my expectations. If I had done my homework, I should have realized that the director, responsible for "My Beautiful Laundrette," was capable of greatness. I knew that, for the past few years, I had savored the small parts of films that Judy Densch had acted in. Seeing her as the star of a film is a delight. And what a film! Not only does it pay tribute to the stirring story of how the British withstood the Blitz, but it also pays reverence to British theater traditions. The musical numbers are delightful. The attention to period detail puts one in mind of "Brideshead Revisited" or the collected works of Merchant-Ivory. The cast is refreshingly entertaining. There is the beautiful blond actress who played the part of the noblewoman sister of the young man courting Elizabeth Bennett's sister in "Pride and Prejudice." Bob Hoskins outdoes himself (when is he not superb?) There is a new-to-Americans actor-singer who is delightful in the musical numbers. What a treat to be able to hear Dame Judy Dench's incomparable intonations and watch her facial expressions. If "Billy Elliot" became a stage musical comedy, I don't think it will be long before this work comes to the West End and then to New York. The title character is every bit as rich as Mame or Mama Rose.
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Delightful and feisty--the film and its star...
Kristie22 January 2006
This film is a lot of fun. Judi Dench is great to watch as a brash, rich, sometimes naive woman who buys a theater as a hobby after her husband's death. She adds fire and life to every scene she's in and has a superb on screen rapport with Bob Hoskins.

The nudity is handled very well. The audience was completely silent when the girls first appeared in all their God-given glory. I think that no one wanted to be heard reacting in any way. But after a while the nudity in the film became as secondary to the story as it did to the audience. There are characters and their relationships that you care about and then WWII starts up with all of Hitler's insanity. They become the real focal points.

If you go to the movie knowing what you're in for, you'll have a wonderful time. It is well-done and has a good story with terrific actors. There are some lines that are very, very funny. Audience members of all ages were clapping when it was finished and you will too.
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