Mrs Henderson Presents - rated - SIMMERING

This film is said at the beginning to be "Inspired by true events".  This is always problematic.  You are left wondering just how true it is.  It would be interesting to know if Mrs Henderson was the way Judi Dench portrays her.  She must have been formidable, but one wonders at her motives.  Surely they can't be the confused ones that Dench's character has here.

This is a fairly no-nonsense film - much like Dench's portrayal of Mrs Henderson.  There's a very quick and efficient setup.  Later, there's the
classic audition scene.  There's a good use of newsreel, including the classic line: "Fires were started again last night."

The costumes are very interesting: gorgeous and opulent and beautifully tailored on the "real" characters, and ill-fitting and cheap-looking on the stage performers –  clearly this must be intentional, and if so I think the film should get the "Best  Costumes" Oscar.
But it's a thin story.  It's not a film of great substance.  Christopher Guest is an interesting choice as Lord Chancellor.  He's very funny, but I think it weakened the truth of the struggle against censorship.  But what am I saying?  This film is not striving for truth at all.  It's just for fun.

Still, there are some quite moving moments.  But the whole sub-plot of the pregnancy feels forced.  The final speech by Mrs Henderson is moving, but really unbelievable.  I think Mrs Henderson is making stuff up again.  Good on her!

At the end, just to reinforce the fictional aspect of the film, the film makers repeat the starting message: the film is "...not to be seen as factually accurate".