Judi Dench Movies
One of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, Judi Dench can claim a decades-old career encompassing the stage, screen, and television. A five-time winner of the British Academy Award, she was granted an Order of the British Empire in 1970 and made a Dame of the British Empire in 1988.
Born in York, England, on December 9, 1934, Dench made her stage debut as a snail in a junior school production. After attending art school, she studied acting at London's Central School of Speech and Drama. In 1957, she made her professional stage debut as Ophelia in the Old Vic's Liverpool production of Hamlet. A prolific stage career followed, with seasons spent performing with the likes of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre. Dench broke into film in 1964 with a supporting role in The Third Secret. The following year, she won her first BAFTA, a Most Promising Newcomer honor for her work in Four in the Morning. Although she continued to work in film, Dench earned most of her recognition and acclaim for her stage work. Occasionally, she brought her stage roles to the screen in such film adaptations as A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968) and Macbeth (1978), in which she was Lady Macbeth to Ian McKellen's tormented king. It was not until the mid-'80s that Dench began to make her name known to an international film audience. In 1986, she had a memorable turn as a meddlesome romance author in A Room with a View, earning a Best Supporting Actress BAFTA for her tart portrayal. Two years later, she won the same award for her work in another period drama, A Handful of Dust.
After her supporting role as Mistress Quickly in Kenneth Branagh's acclaimed 1989 adaptation of Henry V, Dench exchanged the past for the present with her thoroughly modern role as M in GoldenEye (1995), the first of the Pierce Brosnan series of James Bond films. She portrayed the character for the subsequent Brosnan 007 films, lending flinty elegance to what had traditionally been a male role. The part of M had the advantage of introducing Dench to an audience unfamiliar with her work, and in 1997 she earned further international recognition, as well as an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe award, for her portrayal of Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown.
While her screen career had taken on an increasingly high-profile nature, Dench continued to act on both television and the stage. In the former medium, she endeared herself to viewers with her work in such series as A Fine Romance (in which she starred opposite real-life husband Michael Williams) and As Time Goes By. On the stage, Dench made history in 1996, becoming the first performer to win two Olivier Awards for two different roles in the same year. In 1998, Dench won an Oscar, garnering Best Supporting Actress honors for her eight-minute appearance as Queen Elizabeth in the acclaimed Shakespeare in Love. Her win resulted in the kind of media adulation usually afforded to actresses one-third her age. Dench continued to reap both acclaim and new fans with her work in Tea with Mussolini and another Bond film, The World is Not Enough. For her role as a talented British writer struggling with Alzheimer's disease in Iris (2001), Dench earned her third Oscar nomination. Sadly, that same year Dench's husband died of lung cancer at the age of 66.
The prophetic artist continued to act in several films a year, wowing audiences with contemporary dramas like 2001's The Shipping News and period pieces like 2002's Oscar Wilde comedy The Importance of Being Earnest. She reprised the role of M again that same year for Brosnan's last Bond film Die Another Day, before appearing in projects in 2004 and 2005 such as The Chronicles of Riddick, Pride & Prejudice, and an Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated performance as a wealthy widow who shocks 1930s audiences by backing a burlesque show in Mrs. Henderson Presents. In 2006, she followed the Bond franchise into a new era, maintaining her hold on the role of M as Brosnan retired from playing the title character and Daniel Craig took over. Casino Royale was the first Bond movie to be based on an original Ian Fleming 007 novel in 30 years, and it was a great success. In 2008, Dench
rejoined the Bond
franchise for Quantum of Solace.
Dench shared the screen with Cate Blanchett for the critical smash Notes on a Scandal (2006). The film's emotional themes ran the gamut from possession and desire to loathing and disgust, and Dench rose to the challenge with her usual strength and grace, earning her a sixth Oscar nomination and seventh Golden Globe nomination.
joined the cast of 2011’s Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides, as well as taking on the pivotal role of Mrs. Fairfax in Cary Fukunaga’s adaptation of Jane Eyre. The actress also joined Leonardo DiCaprio to play the intimidating mother of J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar (2011). In 2012, Dench
starred alongside fellow film great Maggie Smith in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a compassionate comedy-drama following a group of senior citizens’ experience with a unique retirement program in India. ~ Rebecca Flint Marx, Rovi
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A superb cast brings Oscar Wilde's classic comedy of manners to life in the third big-screen adaptation of this hilarious look at fun, games, and dubious ethics among the British upper crust. Algernon Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) is a slightly shady, but charming gentlemen from a wealthy family who has a bad habit of throwing his money away. Algernon has a close friend named Jack Worthing (Colin Firth), a self-made man who acts as a ward to his cousin, a beautiful young lady named Cecily (Reese Witherspoon). Algernon has created an alter ego to help him get out of tight spots brought on by his financial improprieties, and when he learns that Jack has created a false identity of his own -- Earnest, a brother living in London whose exploits have earned him no small amount of notoriety -- Algernon arrives for a weekend visit in the country posing as the mysterious Earnest. Having heard of Earnest's misadventures many times over the years, Cecily had developed something of an infatuation with the lovable rogue, and Algernon's impersonation of him works no small degree of magic on Cecily. Meanwhile, Algernon's cousin, Gwendolyn (Frances O'Connor), arrives for the weekend, and is startled to discover Jack is also there -- except that she knows him as bad-boy Earnest. So just who is in love with who? How will Lady Bracknell (Judi Dench) handle the matter of her daughter Gwendolyn's suitors? And what's the truth about Jack's mysterious heritage? The Importance of Being Earnest was director Oliver Parker's second film adaptation of an Oscar Wilde comedy; he previously helmed An Ideal Husband, which also starred Rupert Everett. Everett and Colin Firth also co-starred in the 1984 drama Another Country. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
- Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, (more)
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A group of trailblazing female musicians try to take another shot at success in this musical comedy-drama produced for the premium cable network HBO. In the 1940s, the Blonde Bombshells were the finest all-female jazz band in the U.K., playing hot swing music that helped raise England's spirits during the dark days of WWII. Fifty years later, Elizabeth (Judi Dench), one of the band's sax players, is trying to decide what to do with herself after the death of her husband. Pulling her axe out of mothballs, Elizabeth starts playing again, and after meeting Patrick (Ian Holm), the group's former manager (and drummer-in-drag), they decide to put the group back together for a reunion tour. But they soon discover that putting the band back on the road after over fifty years is no easy task. The Last of the Blonde Bombshells also stars Leslie Caron, Olympia Dukakis, and jazz vocalist Cleo Laine. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
- Judi Dench, Ian Holm, (more)
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The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by E. Annie Proulx becomes this drama from director Lasse Hallström. Kevin Spacey stars as Quoyle, a struggling, emotionally drained newspaper reporter suffering through a wretched marriage with the abusive Petal (Cate Blanchett), a promiscuous wild woman who tries to sell their daughter, Bunny, into adoption before she's killed in a car wreck. Retrieving his daughter, Quoyle sets out for Newfoundland, his ancestral home, with his long-lost Aunt Agnis (Judi Dench). Although he initially finds life on the island to be as forbidding and severe as Agnis herself, Quoyle gets work as a shipping columnist for the local newspaper "The Gammy Bird," owned by eccentric fisherman Jack Buggit (Scott Glenn). Quoyle's work soon finds an appreciative audience and he begins to rebuild his life, dating local single mother Wavey (Julianne Moore), learning some sea craft, discovering his family's dark history, and finally earning some self-respect. Agnis, in the meantime, starts her own successful business and faces a traumatic incident from her childhood involving Quoyle's late father. The Shipping News (2001) co-stars Rhys Ifans and Pete Postlethwaite. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi
- Kevin Spacey, Julianne Moore, (more)
TV commentator Stephen Boyd doesn't believe the official verdict of suicide in the death of a famed London psychiatrist. Boyd tries to get to the truth by studying a list of the shrink's patients. While interviewing three of these worthies (Jack Hawkins, Diane Cilento and Richard Attenborough), Boyd discover that each has a deep dark secret that the psychiatrist was privy to. The best-kept secret concerns the schizophrenia of the dead man's teenaged daughter (Pamela Franklin)--a fact that provides the key to mystery. The Third Secret originally featured Patricia Neal as one of the suspects, but her scenes were cut from the final release print. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, (more)
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James Bond, the world's greatest secret agent, is sent once more into the breach in the name of Queen, Country, and a dry martini. In the 19th Bond adventure, 007 (Pierce Brosnan) must resolve a potentially deadly power struggle between two unstable nations, with control of the world's oil supply as the ultimate prize. Bond is assigned as bodyguard to Elektra King (Sophie Marceau), the daughter of a petroleum magnate who was brutally murdered, and is trying to foil the fiendish plot of Renard (Robert Carlyle), a villain who was shot in the head with an unusual result: he cannot feel physical pain, an apparent failing that proves to be a considerable asset. Denise Richards appears as Dr. Christmas Jones, an expert on nuclear weapons, alongside Desmond Llewelyn as Q, Judi Dench as M, Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny, and John Cleese as R. Alternative rock band Garbage performs the theme song. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
- Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, (more)
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Roger Spottiswoode (Air America) directed this film, the 18th chapter in the 35-year-old James Bond series (excluding Casino Royale and Never Say Never Again). James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) learns billionaire media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) is manipulating world events via an exclusive flow of information through his satellite system reaching all corners of the planet. With a stealth battleship sinking a British naval vessel, Carver sees that the Chinese are blamed. Crashing Carver's party in Hamburg, Bond meets "journalist" Wai Lin (Michelle Yeoh), later revealed as a Chinese agent. In a brief tryst, Bond renews his past relationship with Carver's wife Paris (Teri Hatcher). Carver dispatches Stamper (Gotz Otto) and other goons to cancel Bond, who eludes attackers with some of his new gadgets. In Southeast Asia, after Bond and Wai Lin scuba dive into the sunken British ship, they are captured by Stamper, handcuffed, and taken to Saigon where they make a motorcycle escape. To thwart Carver's plans for WWIII, the two agents head for Carver's stealth ship where a cruise missile is aimed at Beijing. Principal photography began April 1, 1997 in the new Eon Productions studio facility at Frogmore, northwest of London, and on the 007 stage at Pinewood Studios. Locations included the UK, Hamburg, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and off the Florida coast. The trademark Bond pre-title sequence was filmed in the French Pyrenees snowfields, centered around one of the few high-altitude operational airfields in Europe. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi
- Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, (more)
Award-winning Well TV contributor Kevin P. Miller explores the ongoing attempts made by multinational pharmaceutical and giant food companies, the World Trade Organization, and the World Health Organization in limiting public access to vitamins, herbs, and other alternative therapies that may not financially benefit anyone but the afflicted. Narrated by acclaimed U.K. actress Dame Judy Dench, We Become Silent follows in the tradition of Miller's previous documentary Let Truth Be the Bias. Released in 1994, Let Truth Be the Bias highlighted the U.S. government's role in silencing the information about the effectiveness of alternative medicines by exposing their role in an armed raid at the office of a holistic MD. As a result of that film, public support was gained for the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA), an act which defended the rights of U.S. consumers to pursue alternative health care. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
- Judi Dench
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In a novel and intriguing approach to storytelling, director David Hare has created an engaging mystery and human drama that ostensibly focuses on an innocent dinner party but is really about something else. Jean Travers (Vanessa Redgrave) is an old-maid schoolmarm who has lived in Wetherby, a small town in northeastern Yorkshire, all of her life. She is still haunted by memories of a passionate love affair with a young man who was later murdered while on military duty in Malaysia nearly 35 years ago in the '50s. One evening, Jean invites a group of friends over for dinner; the group is comprised of two couples, one of which spends the time sniping at each other. A young man, John Morgan (Tim McInnerny) is also in the dinner party. Jean thinks he was brought along by one of the couples; the couples, in turn, believe he was invited by Jean -- in short, he is a total stranger that everyone assumes is a friend of someone there. As the evening progresses, political topics of the moment are brought up and chewed over; Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, and other notables of the era are discussed, and various comments are made on the laziness of today's youth. The dinner party ends, and the next day John Morgan comes back to visit Jean. While she is in the midst of preparing tea for them both, he takes out a gun and kills himself. The shock waves from his senseless act later reverberate among the dinner-party guests, as the police investigator tries to piece together the man's background and the dinner party itself. Questions are raised about his motives, and viewers see the dinner party again, moment by moment, in an entirely new light. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
- Vanessa Redgrave, Ian Holm, (more)