After the death of her husband, Mrs. Henderson decides to buy a theater and hires the irascible Van Damm to manage it. Henderson has a hit on her hands when she adds beautiful nude women to the stage shows. When the 1940-’41 Blitz hits London, the company bravely keep the theater active.
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Rather of a kind, that is the middlebrow entertainment - something Frears’ late career seems to have cornered - with all the characteristics such films exhibit. It’s fairly fluid in a maudlin manner, but the premise would have made a better documentary than feature film which anyway peters out midway. Dench in sparkly imp mode.
Can one performance save an entire film from mediocrity? Judi Dench does her best but even her talent and flair couldn't rescue this movie from entering my long list of films that left me utterly indifferent.
It is not perfect and surely would have benefited from a more vibrant performances and inspired direction. It is rather forgettable as a comedy but still holds some value in historical terms (even though the fictional setting might not have been ideal).
I was entertained but I was always aware of everyone being on auto-pilot, including the director. Dench is unique among great actresses in that she does this coasting from time to time. Her tv sitcom "As Time Goes By," is a perfect example.