Monday, February 13, 2006

With A Song In My Heart, And A Pentagram On My Palm

Mrs. Henderson Presents
2005, UK
Stephen Frears
35mm

This movie is for old women. Which is strange, because old women don’t go to the movies. They stay at home, eat cat food and try not to get raped by Richard Ramirez. Sometimes, they ride public transportation while wearing more make-up than an open casket corpse, but it’s never to the movie theatre. Usually, it’s to the post office to buy stamps, which helps them remember what it was like to have someone to write to. Nevertheless, this movie is aimed squarely at them, with plenty of old people doing charmingly shocking things, like taking off their clothes or swearing or rehashing old Golden Girls episodes, all swirling together into one protracted rapping granny gag from a particularly tame Adam Sandler movie.

Don't worry, Mrs. Henderson, he just wants to deliver some flowers. And cut your eyes out while you still live.

I hoped for much more from this film, and all I got was a pinch on the cheek and a bunch of “oh, I never”s. I’m fairly sure, in fact, that the only reason Dame Judi Dench was nominated for an Oscar is that the Academy wants to get in her will. Based on a true story, the titular character is a stereotypical rich old biddy who inherits a bunch of money and buys a theatre. Strangely, and someone anachronistically, she hires Mario from Super Mario Bros. to run the place, and they turn it into England’s first strip club. There’s plenty of Victorian sputtering and the like, enough to put a rosy glow in the death-like pallor of your grandmother’s cheek, but everything seems so awkward and contrived, which is strange considering the film comes from the normally dependable Stephen Frears. And what’s worse, there’s this entirely unbelievable anti-war/pro-sex message shoehorned in to try and put some context into the film, but it fails miserably. In fact, the whole film fails, trying to stand out with ribaldry and vitality, but instead just breaking its hip, falling on the floor and dying, alone and ignored in an apartment that stinks of lavender, old newspapers, and, finally, decay. Maybe, come the Academy Awards on March 5, someone will notice the smell.

7 Comments:

Anonymous clith said...

Ash, have you seen "Cache" yet?

1:09 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Not yet. Probably sometime this week, since I do like that Michael Haneke fellow.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

OK, I was about to say "But I thought your pentagram was on your chest?", you meant R.R. Gotcha.

An old biddy strip club, and it DIDN'T gross over a 100mil?

Hm.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

His rubs off. Unfortunately, I'm sort of stuck with mine.

And the old biddy doesn't strip, young women do, which is not enough to bring the freak crowd out in force.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous PORCELINE IOLANTHE ETHEL-RED-THE-UNREADY HYPOCRISY. said...

the british film industry is an affront to world cimema a hideous joke and an insult to any lover of the medium of the moving image, the british film industry must be destroyed NOW RIGHT NOW. surely you, mr karreau, with all your cinematic knowledge must be able to see what a complete and utter "SHAM" british films really are. cant you somehow conspire with some of your loathsome racists freinds to somehow eradicate the british film industry once and for all, the world would be a much better place.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

We can barely scrape together rent on the bunker, let alone airfare to England.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous davis j. borderline urinary incontinence said...

i wholeheartedly agree with everything that porceline said, in fact i would go a step further and say that the british film industry is an abomination before god and the kingdom of heaven, (and that`s coming from someone who is a pious atheist and a rampant anti-theist). now then mr. karreau what`s this about you not being able to afford the air fair to london, firstly i dont believe this, and secondly, just imagine what a hero you would become if you did as porceline has requested, wiping out talentless scum like richard attenborough, david puttnam, and hugh grant, not to mention countless other british cunts er...sorry i mean cads and bounders who think they can make good films. in fact mr. karreau you dont seem to understand the seriousness of the problem because the british film industry really is a curse and a plague on the entire human race, (sorry, i mean those who you believe to be human), and if you or someone like you cannot destroy the british film industry soon it might very well bring about the end of the world, (even quicker than the nation of islam will, and that`s saying something), so once again mr. karreau i emplore you, please somehow someway you must find a way to wipe out judi dench, bob hoskins, and the like, before it`s to late. i would also like to point out that although i am not swedish or german i am 100% white anglo-saxon and rampantly heterosexual so hopefully you will have a reasonable amount of respect for me. DESTROY THE BRITISH FILM INDUSTRY NOW AND TAKE NO PRISONERS.

4:58 AM  

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