Judy Dench, Eileen Atkins, Maggie Smith and Joan Plowright have all had long, illustrious careers in theater, television and film, just like many great actors. But, these ladies have something that few others have – a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II. We get to hear about this great honor and more when we have “Tea with the Dames.”
Long-time feature film director Roger Michell (“Notting Hill (1999),” “My Cousin Rachel (2017)”) takes on the daunting task of interviewing four lionesses of stage and screen, both large and small. The result is homage to the Dames and the chance for the viewer to get to know about the lives, loves, fears, insecurities and confidences.
“Tea with the Dames” appeals to me, as a lover of movies, with the intimate chat from the ladies on all manner of subjects - their individual careers, the actors they worked with (like Olivier and Gielgud, among many others), when they first met each other, the plays and films they appeared in, their families and, of course, their knighthoods – Maggie Smith’s big surprise was that she could still swear, maybe more than usual, after the honor was bestowed.
Four aging Dames, all friends, is amusing enough but the filmmakers dig deeply into their career archives and supplement the interviews with footage from their films, plays, teleplays (they were called that in the early days of TV) and interviews from over their many years.
This is really a film for serious movie buffs who love everything about the art form and those, like the Dames, who make great films. I even made a cup of tea beforehand so I, too, could have tea with these Great Dames. I give it a B.
Laura also gives "Tea with the Dames" a B.
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