November 29, 2012 |
What if you could outsource retirement? "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" took a cast loaded with British talent - Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy among them - to India to find out. The fish-out-of-England romantic comedy did boffo business. With a $10-million budget, it has grossed more than $135 million worldwide since its May release, making it Fox Searchlight's highest-grossing specialty film of 2012. Director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love,") and writer Ol Parker were in town recently to chat about the film, playing off each other like a seasoned comedy team.
August 26, 2000 |
Judi Dench wailing on tenor sax? Leslie Caron pounding the bass? Olympia Dukakis on trumpet? Now that's music. First-run independent films are now on HBO's agenda, witness tonight's arrival of Alan Plater's slight but charming comedy about a nearly all-female swing band that reinvents itself 56 years after playing in London as German bombs fell on the city in World War II.
January 7, 1990 |
About this time last year, London theater critic Michael Billington worried in that city's Guardian newspaper that actor/director Kenneth Branagh might "push himself too hard." After a "punishing season" of three Shakespeare plays at home and on tour with his fledgling Renaissance Theatre Company, the Belfast-born Wunderkind was going straight into directing and starring in a film of "Henry V." But Branagh, now 28, has lived a life of overachieving. Besides launching Renaissance a few years ago with colleague David Parfitt, he had earlier played London's West End and Royal Shakespeare Company stages, plus done extensive TV and film work both at home and in the U.S. Renaissance's first production was his own play, "Public Enemy," and he has already published an autobiography.
March 5, 2006 |
JUDI DENCH "Mrs. Henderson Presents" * JUDI DENCH swears the airplane wasn't supposed to take off. About halfway through "Mrs. Henderson Presents," the film's titular character, played by Dench, climbs into an open-cockpit airplane. The plane was only supposed to taxi back and forth in front of director Stephen Frears' cameras -- to "run along the runway a bit," as Dench says.
June 13, 1987 |
Southern California is seeing a lot of "Antony and Cleopatra" this summer. Jack O'Brien's production has just opened at the Old Globe Theatre and Tony Richardson's staging opens at the Los Angeles Theatre Center July 3. "Antony" is also hot in London. Peter Hall's production--his swan song as artistic director of the National Theatre of Great Britain--has been called his finest Shakespeare since his "War of Roses" cycle with the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1964.
January 2, 2014 |
For the last several weeks, the Oscar race for lead actress felt fairly settled, with five familiar faces, each of them previous winners - Cate Blanchett ("Blue Jasmine"), Sandra Bullock ("Gravity"), Judi Dench ("Philomena"), Emma Thompson ("Saving Mr. Banks") and Meryl Streep ("August: Osage County") - as the likely nominees. Then, on Friday, "August: Osage County" opened in Los Angeles and New York, more than three months after the flamboyant tale of family dysfunction premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, a bumpy debut that led to some subsequent tinkering that softened the movie's ending.
December 24, 2006 |
SHE is probably the most popular British actress in a generation, a standing earned less by her storied appearances here on the Shakespearean stage, possibly, than by her years as reigning queen of the sitcoms on BBC. It has been estimated that an election for queen would send Elizabeth II packing and put Dame Judi Dench in Buckingham Palace.
December 10, 2001 |
This sleepy eastern seaside resort is a favored destination for senior citizens, who like its tranquillity, its handsome Victorian architecture and the flavor of gentler times it evokes. The older brigade is out in force on this early May day, although a chill easterly wind is cutting in from Scandinavia. The pale sun peeks through the clouds just often enough to make it worth braving the elements. An elderly couple, huddling together to keep warm as they wait at a bus stop, are typical.
December 25, 2009 |
"Directing a movie is a very overrated job, we all know it. You just have to say yes or no. What else do you do? Nothing. 'Maestro, should this be red?' Yes. 'Green?' No. 'More extras?' Yes. 'More lipstick?' No. Yes. No. Yes. No. That's directing." Thus speaks an acerbic costume designer played by Judi Dench in "Nine," the musical about an addled movie director played by Daniel Day-Lewis. The film, based on the Broadway musical, is about many things: men, women, sex, guilt, life, death.
November 7, 2012 |
Sitting here in Best Picture Limbo, thumbing through the year-old magazines (Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively? No way that works!) and waiting for the bell to ring on the remaining Oscar candidates - "Zero Dark Thirty," "Django Unchained," "Les Miserables," the "Hobbit" movie - we can at least report on one sure-fire contender that's arriving in theaters ... not next month but tomorrow. Consider the movie's pedigree: Its acting ensemble features two Oscar winners and two other actors who have been nominated seven times through the years.