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Monday, March 20, 2006

Among the little gems that have made it to the screen recently are three favorites of mine that I think you will also enjoy in case you haven’t seen them already. If you are a special effects freak, you can stop reading now. The movies I enjoy have a story, good acting, and lack the use of computer generated special effects. I am also a sucker for films from the UK and think that the actors from that area are the best around. Here are three reasons why: MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS, Run time: 103 minutes, Rated "R" (some nudity, language), Miramax Films.....The year is 1937 and Mrs. Laura Henderson (Dame Judi Dench) has just become a 69 year old widow with a lot of money. She is already bored with widowhood and her attempts at philanthropy ("I’m hoping to build a home for future bastards."). One day she accidently stumbles into an old closed theater in London’s West End and decides she would like to be in the entertainment business. She meets Mr. Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins), an outgoing expert in the theater business, and an unlikely duo is formed. The theater becomes the Windmill and through Van Damm’s expertise, begins an around the clock entertainment cycle that is very successful until competitors copy the format. To counteract that problem, Mrs. Henderson suggests using female nudity as an attraction but can only do this, according to the Lord Chamberlain (Christopher Guest) if the girls remain stationary as in the case of artistic nudity. The plan works and the Windmill once again is a huge success. This story is actually based on true events and Dame Judi and Hoskins make an interesting couple as they have an underlying mutual admiration despite some overt jealousies and disagreements. I especially enjoyed the musical numbers and dancing in a Busby Berkeley style. This is a good one that should not be missed.

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