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Running Time:
1 hour, 43 minutes

Rating: R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.

Rating Explanation:
for nudity and brief language

Jimmy's Buzz Guide Review:
Another smashing performance by Judi Dench in a totally entertaining musical/comedy/drama.

Additional Info:
DVD Features: Widescreen (1.78:1); Enhanced for 16x9 television; Languages: English 5.1; Subtitles: English CC, Spanish.

Mrs. Henderson Presents
Based on a true story about a widow who buys a shuttered theater in London just prior to WWII, director Stephen Frears (Being Julia) has made a film that is overflowing with charm and wit, particularly since he cast the indomitable Judi Dench in the title role. No one could have played Mrs. Henderson any better, and award talk will surely follow. But it's her heated exchanges with the theatre manager Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins), that she hires to produce the Windmill's musical revues, that makes the film a pure delight. Their fiery love-hate relationship displays a chemistry you don't often see in the movies these days. When business falters they decide to spice up their shows by using nudes, to the consternation of some and the delight of most, particularly the troops who fill the theater during the war years. In a delightful supporting role is Christopher Guest (Best In Show), playing the stiff-upped-lipped Lord Chamberlain, the decency censor who tries to put a stop to her lewd presentations. His underplayed reactions to the shamefully liberal Mrs. Henderson are almost as amusing as the words that she uses to provoke him.

Mixing energetic musical productions with both humor and dramatic moments, Frears has made a compelling film that never falters. You simply enjoy the show as Mrs. Henderson herself would have insisted and the result is one of the best British films in recent years. The musical numbers are both catchy and well-executed but never overwhelm the rest of the film. Deftly balancing both the laughs and the tears, Stephen Frears' film is uplifting, engrossing and totally enjoyable.

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