Mrs Henderson Presents


D: Stephen Frears
Pathé/The Weinstein Company/BBC (Norma Heyman)
UK/US 2005
103 mins


W: Martin Sherman
DP: Andrew Dunn
Ed: Lucia Zucchetti
Mus: George Fenton

Judi Dench (Laura Henderson), Bob Hoskins (Vivian Van Damm), Will Young (Bertie), Christopher Guest (Lord Cromer), Kelly Reilly (Maureen), Thelma Barlow (Lady Conway), Anna Brewster (Doris), Rosalind Halstead (Frances), Sarah Solemani (Vera)

Mrs Henderson Presents is a story which is better suited to stage, but this film version does a very good job, despite not much happening throughout.
Just before the outbreak of World War II, widow Laura Henderson (Judi Dench) becomes the owner of a theatre in London's West End, but after struggling to turn a profit, she insists that her vaudeville matinees showcase naked ladies, a business strategy which proves very lucrative, though she grows suspicious of the stewardship methods of theatrical director Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) and frequently sneaks in to have a spy.
The film all builds towards Mrs. Henderson's explanation for her decisions, which is a particularly poignant moment and a fine way to bring the film to a close.
Stephen Frears does a good job directing, and the cast of lovely ladies perform well with their clothes on just as good as they do when the kit is off.
More than a parade of boobs and bums, this film also has some balls.

Bob Hoskins & Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents
Bob Hoskins & Judi Dench in Mrs Henderson Presents