Monday, February 06, 2006

A Brit-Flick Weekend

Ah, Super Bowl Weekend. Streets are clear. Movie houses are empty. Grocery stores are packed until about 6pm on Sunday, then it's smooth sailing. Since I care not one whit about pro football, I have my own SBW rituals - usually involving lots of movie-going.

I kept to a British theme this year, seeing Nanny McPhee and Mrs. Henderson Presents. I highly recommend both.

Nanny McPhee, which I saw with my bud Joanna, was much better than I was expecting it to be. Wait. Let me re-phrase that, since it sounds like damning with faint praise. No. It's really, really entertaining. The film is The Sound of Music/Mary Poppins/Lemony Snicket with a twist of something else that I just can't put my finger on right now. Emma Thompson brings a whole new meaning to: "I did knock." Colin Firth - yummy, the children - suitably adorable and precocious, Imelda Staunton, Celia Imrie, and Angela Lansbury - wonderfully scenery-chewing. A very funny, enjoyable film.

Mrs. Henderson Presents - just grand. Wonderful opening credits. BTW, the art of opening credits is fast disappearing as films just seem to dive right into the story - not satisfying to my mind. An outstanding cast. It was fun to see Christopher Guest as the pompous (but ass-appreciating) Lord Chamberlain, since we usually see him in his brilliantly whacky improv films (Best in Show, Waiting for Guffman, etc.). Bob Hoskins, terrific. And Judi Dench. Her speech outside the closed theatre was head-of-state-worthy. One Oscar commenter said that Dench shouldn't have gotten her nomination because it was a role she could do in her sleep. I'm guessing that if she's done an outstanding performance that makes some snotty-nose reviewer think that she could do it in her sleep, then her Oscar nomination is well-deserved. Go see this one (and not just for the nekkid girls!).

Off to work. It's Monday and sleeting outside. Ho-hum. Travel safely, friends!


Unknown said...

I've not seen either of these films - I will probably wait until they're out on dvd. Nanny McPhee originally got goodish reviews then they turned bad over here.

I've not read any reviews of Mrs. Henderson Presents.

I did read that Judi Dench was [allegedly] not on the recent Oscar chat show circuit because she didn't fit the bill because of her age ... surely not ?

Isn't Christopher Guest a Lord ? He stars as the six-fingered man in one of my favourite films, The Princess Bride.

Glad you enjoyed these films Mary.

MaryB said...

I read the same thing about Judi Dench being snubbed by our morning shows. A pox on all their houses. May they all go down in ratings-flames. She was - as always - superb as Mrs. Henderson.

Yes, Guest is a Lord in real life. Hard to remember that when you're watching Spinal Tap or A Mighty Wind.

Chris said...

Haven't seen Nanny McPhee yet - BUT it's half term holiday next week so I'll probably take Thomas along; even if he's seen it already he's usually up for 'seconds' for any film he's enjoyed.

Mrs Henderson I went to see in order to catch a glimpse of Bob Hoskins nekked. It was a great film and caught the atmosphere of the period wonderfully. All of the cast were magnificent and it was especially nice to see a good performance from Will Young.

Dame Judi was, as always, outstanding and thoroughly deserved her nomination (what do reviewers know!).