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...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, March 05, 2006

We Need British Nipples!


As mentioned previously, I went to see the last major Oscar-nominated flick I hadn't as yet seen, namely,

Mrs. Henderson Presents

A film I can truly describe as, rollicking, bollocking good fun.

As you know, I'm all about mayhem, and tongue-in-cheek, well, cheekiness.

But I can't help think, however much I liked this film, that had Frears and Co. truly wanted to make a masterpiece, they could have.

Instead they went for an all-out, yet tastefully untasteful shock-a-thon (got that?), that even Judi Dench's F-bomb couldn't lift into the category of grand opus.

The topic is fantastic:

A just widowed, Mayfair grand dame decides to buy a West End theatre with her newfound wealth.

She calls it the Windmill -- which of course, in French, is Moulin Rouge: an omen of things to come as it turns out.

She finds a dynamic, daring producer, and together, they quickly pounce on the idea of having continuous performances of nude musical reviews, called with great hamminess, Revuedeville.

The caveat is that the Lord Chameberlain's Office (who used to have to approve any and all entertainment in the British Isles, until the late 1960s), insist that these nude beauties not move an inch during their "presentation".

They thus revive the tableaux vivants tradition, which died the moment still photography, not to mention moving pictures, came unto the scene.

Trust me, it's a lot more fun than my prosaic description.

(Tableaux Vivants, however, are a terrific topic for Sundries, and you bet, I will be posting on it in due course)

Never has Judi Dench, who could sneeze on screen and still be awarded by an Oscar nomination, sparkled more naughtily than in this film.

Portraying a long-gone society matron type, she's rude, racist, snobbish, sarcastic, sardonic, and don't we all of us love her for it.

But the producer, played by character actor Bob Hoskins (a personal favourite), is her equal in everything but station in life, which as we all know, means beans.

Except obviously, in the real world.


Now that I am in the position of being at least informed about my Oscar Predictions, which let's face it, many people have an opinion without having seen the films in question, I can say that Judi Dench probably will not win the coveted golden statuette tonight.

But that she can, as the real-life Mrs. Henderson could, put on a great show, is beyond question.

Go see the film, even if on DVD.

And don't forget the mouse!

(I'll be blogging about the Oscars, later tonight)


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