Mrs. Henderson Presents (2006)
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as Laura Henderson
as Vivian Van Damm
as Lady Conway
as Lord Cromer
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Critic Reviews for Mrs. Henderson Presents
Hoskins and Dench share a unique chemistry that pierces the story's heavy-handed construction.
Mrs Henderson's irrepressible dominance ensures that all the other characters in her orbit seem static and soulless, not unlike the girls in the theatre's nude tableaux.
There's chemistry and tension aplenty in this bittersweet character study.
One of those "prestige" pictures that you can watch with your dear old Mom ... provided your Mom won't be offended by the unclothed young ladies.
Audience Reviews for Mrs. Henderson Presents
The Windmill Theater in London was infamous for shaking up that famous British stiff upper lip with their girly revues and bawdy shows, and that story is told here (however informed by Hollywood musicals). So the background story is laid out about a rich society widow sponsoring an showbiz venture, unusual in Britain upper circles, and the eventual success of that venture, but the real film lies in the re-creation of the stage shows put on in those years.
The whole is not bad, yet lacking the bite the real story, a British story, of the impact, humanity and courage even prostitutes must've had during the wartime blitz. For a work purportedly celebrating those people, this film shies away from who those people were.
The recently widowed Mrs. Henderson has no idea what to do with her life and her vast amount of cash. Her friend suggests she gets herself a hobby, and after pricking her finger doing some embroidery she instead decides to buy a rundown theatre. She hires theatre manager Bob Hoskins to take over and run a musical review which all goes fine and dandy until everyone copies them. They decide to do something more daring and so have nudes on the stage. The film has the classical polite British putdowns and absurd but brilliant satirical moments. The nudes are not allowed to move, because then it's art. The musical numbers are quite fun and inventive and the verbal fisticuffs between Dench and Hoskins is brilliant. They each give us a warm but strict character and there is a lot of chemistry, which makes it even more interesting when the film shrugs off the romance angle between the pair. In the latter half after the war kicks off the film inevitably loses some of its warm colourful charm, but reflects the time period accordingly. A great supporting cast, especially Guest in a hilarious role, bring alive those little moments. A joyful feel good movie that gives a lot of heart.
Mrs. Henderson Presents Quotes
|Laura Henderson:||Mr. van Damm, you are Jewish.|
|Vivian Van Damm:||Anyone can have talent.|
|Vivian Van Damm:||We must have British nipples.|
|Laura Henderson:||I'm bored with widowhood...I have to smile at everybody. I've never had to smile at everybody. In India there were always people to look down on.|
|Vivian Van Damm:||People are merely being sympathetic. After all, you have lost your husband.|
|Laura Henderson:||I didn't mislay him. It was most inconsiderate of Robert to die. What on earth am I supposed to do now?|
|Vivian Van Damm:||The first rule of widowhood, my dear. Important conversations occur at lunch.|
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