Friday, April 8, 2011

Judi Dench in Mrs Brown

Judi Dench received her first Best Actress nomination (and much more) for playing Queen Victoria, the legendary queen in Mrs Brown. I suspect it must have been a tight race between Helen Hunt and Judi Dench. Judi Dench won Best Actress - Drama at the Golden Globes Hunt won for Comedy and got SAG. Dench had the advantage of being a respected British stage actress who was yet to be recognised and Hunt was "just" a sitcom star. Still, Hunt won the Oscar, causing controversy (which was helped by Hunt's acceptance speech, too) that even lead to an Oscar win for Dench the following year.

Mrs Brown is interesting but a bit too slow for me. It's slow-paced and therefore it can get quite boring sometimes. The reason for that is that the movie concentrates so much on Billy Connolly's character. I would have preferred if it had focused more on Queen Victoria and Judi Dench whom I love immensely. I must say, though, that Connolly is quite good in this movie but his talent is so behind Dench's. Still, Mrs Brown is a very enjoyable and it's worth watching once or twice.

I admire, love and worship Dame Judi Dench. She's greatness. She has one of the best voices ever, her face can express thousands of feelings and the subtle emotions that she gives to her characters are all so impressive. And anyone who can give a performance like her in Notes on a Scandal at least once, they deserve to be praised. She wasn't very well-know outside Britain before Mrs Brown so we could even call her performance as Queen Victoria a breakthrough in a way. And I'm eternally grateful that this movie introduced her to the whole world. Her talent is one of a kind.

Queen Victoria is a really interesting role and it certainly pays off with the Academy. First of all, they just love Brits. What they love more than Brits, is a monarch. And what they love above all, is a British monarch. And same goes with me. I also love them. It's always wonderful some real dignity in a movie. Queen Victoria is certainly one of the greatest monarchs ever, plus she was a very interesting personality. Her character needed a very exprienced and careful performance who possessed real talent and much subtlty. Judi Dench, I believe, was the perfect choice for the part.

To put it simply, Judi Dench is just great as Queen Victoria. Dame Judi perfectly showed the insecurities and fears of this woman who always tries to look very organised and strong. However, we get to know Victoria's weaknesses through Judi's sympathetic and wonderfully subtle acting style. I felt that she understood Victoria's problems perfectly well and she tried to approach her with very much respect and dignity. This woman was famous for caring very much about formalities, the outside. And as I see, she was also a bit of a drama queen, too. In the movies, she has dramatic outbursts. Sometimes it's just tears and whining, sometimes she even loses her temper. Victoria was a very moody person who liked to take control of everything. Judi nailed this side of her just perfectly. All the dramatic scenes were handled well by her and she was neither too over-the-top nor too subtle. She found the perfect balance between the faces of this complicated woman.

Dame Judi's chemistry with Billy Connolly is just excellent. Every time they are together on the screen, it's a very intense scene, full of tension and sparkling. Although it's true that Dench is a way more talented performer than everyone else in this movie, she knew perfectly worked together with everyone. I loved the scene where John Brown announces his resignal to Victoria and she refuses it instantly. That tender confession there to Brown is just wonderfully played by Dame Judi. Also, I must mention the dinner scene where the Queen gets a little drunk. It's so full of humor and it was perfectly acted by Dench.

However, there's one thing that seriously works against Dench in this movie. And that's the lack of screentime and really greatly written scenes. Of course, she's wonderful as always but I would have loved to see something more gutwrenching and dramatic. The bit lightweight story drags Dame Judi's performance down a little bit.

Still, this is a wonderful performance by one of the greatest actresses ever on this planet. Although it may not be the best achievement of the brilliant Dame Judi Dench, she perfectly inhabited this very complex character and nailed the emotional scenes. This is excellent work that is a real joy to watch. It's not fantastic or mindblowing, it's "just" absolutely wonderful.
What do you think, dear readers? You've been so active in commenting lately, so thanks. :)


Anonymous said...

I agree.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't a fan of this film at all, nor a huge fan of Dench's performance. It's not bad by any means, but I wasn't as wowed as you were.