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Stephen Frears, Mrs. Henderson Presents



Long known for his sociologically relevant films, including Dangerous Liaisons, My Beautiful Laundrette and Dirty Pretty Things, director Stephen Frears's Mrs. Henderson Presents is obviously a departure: a sentimental, old-fashioned star vehicle for two pros, the Golden Globe nominees Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins. Inspired by the backstory of London's famous Windmill Theater with its nude revues in the 1930s and '40s, which was due entirely to Mrs. Laura Henderson, a wealthy English widow, who bought the theater and, with Hoskins' Vivian Van Damme as her partner and stage manager, became an architect of a new kind of stage magic. Mrs. Henderson Presents has musical numbers, nude girls - and men! - and a stiff-upper-lip-in-the-Blitz storyline that makes it as entertaining as it is retrograde. Precisely because of that, Frears says in this interview, "This is the most radical movie to come out of England this year".
 

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