Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

by suzanne Schreiner & r & & r & Mrs. Henderson Presents & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & W & lt;/span & hen upper-crust Englishwoman Laura Henderson buries her husband in 1937, she moans, "What on earth am I supposed to do now?" Needlepoint and charity work are dull: "I'd rather drink ink," she says. Mrs. Henderson (Judi Dench) hits upon the obvious antidote to widowhood -- resuscitating the shuttered Windmill Theater in London's West End and presenting musical revues to the cheering masses. She hires theater manager Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to run it, despite their clash at first meeting.


After the first blush of success, the onslaught of imitators kills the theater's profits. Van Damm thinks the end is near, but Mrs. Henderson blasts him for lacking courage and insists, "It will all come right in the end." The fix is simple: The clothes must come off, she says. She persuades the Lord Chamberlain (Christopher Guest), the official censor, that the girls, though nude, will be presenting artistic tableaux. But what about "the foliage?" presses the Lord Chamberlain. Careful lighting will obscure anything objectionable, she assures him, adding cheerily, "Besides, we'll have a barber." War comes and droves of young soldiers and sailors seek out a bit of gaiety and bare flesh before they ship out. The Windmill triumphs -- even after being bombed, they come back and are able to boast throughout the Blitz: "We never closed."


In director Stephen Frears' vision of World War II England, little of the grimness and grief of that era intrudes. This England is perennially in soft focus and attractively lit. Though inspired by real events and people, Frears says, "I wanted the film to take place in the sort of world where musicals take place, which of course is in complete contradiction to real life." Dench and Hoskins play well off each other and are the real reasons to see this little film.


DVD extras are nearly as skimpy as the Windmill girls' costumes but include audio commentary by Frears, a making-of featurette, production photos and a theatrical trailer. The most charming segment is the pre-production party celebrating the real Windmill girls, now in their 80s and 90s. To a woman, they insist that the Windmill during the war was one big family. And they never closed. (Rated R)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In Their Best Interest
  • In Their Best Interest

    Why many neglected kids don't have legal representation for critical decisions that could dictate their future
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • 'Right Side of History'
  • 'Right Side of History'

    The Washington Supreme Court rules against Arlene's Flowers; plus, two dogs call it a day
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • Frozen Out
  • Frozen Out

    In the middle of a chaotic winter, the city of Spokane ousted its veteran street director, but won't give an explanation to the city council
    • Feb 23, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Patrolling While Black
  • Patrolling While Black

    Gordon Grant's nearly 30 years as a Spokane cop have been affected by race, but that's not the whole story
    • Jul 8, 2015
  • 'Like the Light'
  • 'Like the Light'

    The area's only mosque searches for a leader, while others worry about an increase in anti-Islam sentiment
    • Aug 19, 2015

Comments


Comments are closed.

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Spokane Social Sketch

Spokane Social Sketch @ Boots Bakery & Lounge

Last Sunday of every month, 2-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight

    Why we're filling the streets to protest Trump's inhumane, dangerous policies
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • Obscene Gestures

    Spokane political party leaders hope to harness post-election passion into civil discourse. But so far, there's only been more strife
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


Comment


do something


Readers also liked…

  • Hopeless for Heroin
  • Hopeless for Heroin

    As heroin deaths continue to rise in Washington state, what can a parent do to save a child from the depths of addiction?
    • Jul 29, 2015
  • Power Player
  • Power Player

    Behind Ben Stuckart’s rise as city council president, his latest challenger and what comes next
    • Oct 22, 2015
  • A Loner's Legacy
  • A Loner's Legacy

    What a homeless veteran in Coeur d'Alene left behind after his sudden death
    • Oct 22, 2015

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation