Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mrs Henderson Presents and In Her Shoes

In between all the rest I managed to watch two films on DVD over the past few days (part of my six DVD rental from Amazon)

The first film saw was Mrs Henderson Present. Judi Dench played Laura Henderson an eccentric widow who decides to buy the Windmill Theatre in London in the late thirties around the time of the outbreak of war. In order to get it up and running she hires Vivian Van Damm who is played by Bow Hoskins, an abrasive type person who is not afraid to say what he thinks even if it offends. In order to increase patronage, he decides to bring in nude women into the revue; at the time Britain had theatre censorship (abolished by the Labour govt of the sixties) with approval needed by the Lord Chamberlain. Laura Henderson being part connected with the establishment gets him to agree. This turns into a huge success especially with the troops.

With the onset of War things get more difficult, most of the West End shuts down but the Windmill continues going despite the blitz and the restrictions of wartime. This film showed the resilient spirit of London and that we will never be beaten by whatever is thrown at us. Mrs Henderson who had lost her son in World War I it was very poignant as deep down this had very much affected her and scenes are shown of her visiting his grave in France just before the invasion of France. The show must go on attitude was part of the reason that I enjoyed watching the film and Judy Dench played her part extremely well. Her best friend Lady Conway is played by Thelma Barlow (who is better know for playing Mavis in Coronation Street) and who is a fantastic actress. A film I would recommend watching, Will Young also stars as Bertie who is a member of the Revue and of course does plenty of singing.

The other film I watched was In Her Shoes. The film involves two sisters who are the complete opposites of each other, the only they have in common is shoes. Rose is a successful Philadelphia lawyer while her sister Maggie has drifted from job to job achieving little and going nowhere. When they were young their mother had died and their dad brought them up and step mum who cut off all links with theirs mothers family. Anyway following been chucked out of Maggie's for sleeping with her boyfriend she goes in search of her roots and far from discovering her gran is dead as she had been lead to believe, finds all these birthday cards from her grandmother which has been kept had from her. Off she goes and find her Gran living in an active retirement unit in Florida. The Gran played wonderfully by Shirley McLaine takes her in and she discovers what went on and questioning what happened. Maggie manages to get a job and strikes up a rapport with the retirees at the complex including a shopping business.

In the mean time her sister Rose goes through a late twenties crisis and is determined to track down her sister. She quits her job as a top lawyer and takes up dog walking. In the time off she falls in love but the stigma of not being able to find her sister gets her down and she splits as she discovers she cannot live without her being around. Eventually she too discovers the truth and has a reunion down in Florida with her and the grandmother she has not seen since a kid. Of course she ends of marrying him at the end.

This film was very enjoyable and showed the importance of family and that despite difficulties we may experience from time to time they are important. Discovering your roots if you come from a difficult background and finding out about their lives and how their father stopped the contact showed the pain that can within some families. While it was not the best film I have watched it was a welcome break from the campaign stuff and thankfully no politics!!!.


Post a Comment

<< Home