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,
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
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