Tag Archives: Dame Maggie Smith

Tea with the Dames Movie Review

There is nothing like getting together with old friends. Especially, if you have been friends for multiple decades.

The new movie, Tea with the Dames, directed by Roger Michell, is a conversation between four of the greatest living actresses in modern Hollywood. In the film, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright, and Dame Eileen Atkins discuss life, love, career, family and everything in between.

What I loved about this documentary is that these women not just pretending to be friends for the sake of the camera. This is not another role where they pretend to be someone else and have pretend relationships with their co-stars. They have a real emotional bond and years of friendship that easily comes across the screen. In addition to the interviews with the film’s subjects, the documentary also includes archival footage from their past work, images from their personal life and images of roles they have played in the past.

I absolutely recommend it.

Tea with the Dames is presently in theaters. 

 

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Thoughts On The 25th Anniversary Of Hook

Nearly 25 years ago, a little movie hit theaters. The movie was Hook and it’s star is the late and very missed Robin Williams.

Taking place a generation after the original Peter Pan story, the movie starts off with a very grownup Peter Pan, known as Peter Banning (Robin William). The mischievous, trouble making, charming boy has been replaced with an adult who spends more time at the office than he does with his family. When his kids are kidnapped by Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman), Peter must return to Neverland and save his children. The problem is that Peter is more in tuned with the pirates than the lost boys.

That being said, here are the reasons why I love this film:

1. It is one of my favorite childhood films.
2. Robin Williams was born to play this role.
3. What kid does not want Peter Pan as a father?
4. What kid at the time did not want Rufio’s hair or his skateboard?
5. It taught adults that it was ok to let out your inner kid every once in a while.
6. I was introduced me to Maggie Smith, who would later play one of my favorite television characters, the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey.
7. It’s just a fun film.
8. The screenplay is completely quotable.
9. This film makes me feel old.

Here’s to Hook’s 25th anniversary, thanks for the memories.

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The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Movie Review

The general rule is that when it comes to movie sequels is that for every movie sequel that does justice to the original film, there are many others that tarnish the reputation and quality of the first film.

Thankfully, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2015) does not tarnish the reputation of it’s predecessor.

The movie starts 8 months after the first film ended. The residents of the The Exotic Marigold Hotel remain as we left them. Muriel D0nnelly (Dame Maggie Smith) runs the hotel with Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel). Sonny is eager to expand the hotel. Evelyn Greenslade (Dame Judi Dench) is having a will they/won’t they relationship with Douglas Ainslie (Bill Nighy). But his marriage to Jean (Penelope Wilton) might be over emotionally, but not legally. Madge Hardcastle (Celia Imrie) is caught between two local men.

Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle (Norman Cousins and Carol Parr) are comfortably together, but their relationship is being tested. Sonny is also in the middle of finalizing wedding preparations with his fiance, Sunaina (Tina Desai), but his insecurities come out in the person of the best friend of his soon to be brother in law. Added to the cast is American author wannabe Guy Chambers (Richard Gere) and newcomer Lavinia Beech (Tamsin Greig).

I liked the first film and I was eager to to see this one. Unlike many sequels, this movie did not let me down. It was as charming, funny and entertaining as it’s predecessor. What both movies have taught me is that life and learning does not end when we reach a certain age. We can be 70 years old and still be learning something new every day.  We can be 70 years old and still feel the butterflies and uncertainty of new love.

This movie is wonderful. It proves that age is nothing but a number and life’s ups and down’s continue. It also proves that female performers can draw in audiences at 70 as they did at 35.

I absolutely recommend this film.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is presently on DVD. 

 

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Throwback Thursday- Hook

Peter Pan is the immortal child, full of optimism and life. His arch enemy is the adult and cynical Captain Hook.

What is Peter Pan grew up, got married, had kids, took a corporate job and forgot who he was?

This is the premise of the 1991 movie Hook.

Peter Pan is now Peter Banning (Robin Williams), married to Wendy’s (Dame Maggie Smith) granddaughter, Moira (Caroline Goodall). When Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) kidnaps Peter’s kids, Tinkerbell (Julia Roberts) has to find Peter and bring back the boy she knew. But the Peter she finds is not the Peter she remembers. He has more in common with his arch enemy than the boy she knew.

I love this movie, it’s such an integral part of my childhood. What I still love about this  movie more than twenty years later is that it’s about being an adult, but still remembering the child you were.

I recommend this movie.

 

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Becoming Jane/Miss Austen Regrets

There are often two sides to any story. There are also two perspectives in life, one of youth and one of maturity.

Jane Austen is a remarkable author. Her books are still read and performed 200 years later. Despite all that we know about her life, there is still a myth about the woman and her writing.

In 2007, Becoming Jane  introduced movie goers to a young, pre publishing and pre-fame Jane Austen (Anne Hathaway). She hopes to write for a living, but knows that the only way to support herself and her family is to marry. She is approached with a marriage proposal by Mr. Wisley (Laurence Fox), the nephew of Lady Gresham (Dame Maggie Smith). But she is attracted to Tom LeFroy (James McAvoy).

This movie is decent. Having no conclusive evidence that there was a romance between Jane Austen and Tom LeFroy, the writers relied on what is known of her life, combined with a little fictionalized romance based upon her books.  It’s always interesting to see the young writer living their life and developing the idea(s) that will one day become their stories.

A year later, Miss Austen Regrets premiered. Approaching her 40th birthday Jane Austen (Olivia Williams) is visited her brother, Edward Austen Knight (Pip Torrens). His oldest daughter, Fanny Knight (Imogen Poots) is of a marriageable age and has been in the company of John Plumptre (Tom Hiddleston). She is looking to her aunt for guidance in regards to the potential marriage to Mr. Plumptre. At the same time, she is getting sick while an old suitor Rev Brook Bridges (Hugh Bonneville) returns to her life.

We don’t know much about Jane’s personal life. Her sister Cassandra burned many of her sister’s letters after her passing. This TV movie shows us the older Jane. Still in the prime of her life and churning out stories, but as we all know, she died far too soon at the age of 41.  I recommend this movie.

 

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