Judi Dench is better than many of contemporaries, because, in whole career life, her lowest point is higher than peaks of other actresses. It’s hardly improbable to assess her intact career only by rankings. For the purpose of celebration of the latest film, I choose several crucial and iconic roles for further analyses.
Dame Judi Dench, aged 82, experiences an uncommon acting career across stage, film and television. In retrospect to her past acting career, she won more than 50 competitive awards among 203 nominations and garnered more than $1.5 box office takings.
84 CHARING CROSS ROAD
The film turned out to be an appealing one on the basis of a play and a book, in which two persons’ exchanging letters sounds like a pursuit for failure. However, David Hugh Jones’s efforts made great contributions to the attractive work. The film starred two persons – Sir Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft as the pen-pals. Judi Dench played a small supporting role as Hopkins’s wife, adding a layer of complexity to an almost love story and improves Hopkins’s casting to a higher level.
Dench played a second-longest serving royal in history while there were substantial differences between surface phenomena and realities. Most people may could perceive some obvious characteristics like cantankerousness, obesity, selfishness, moroseness and indifferences. Although it seemed that she was indifferent to suffering of her 400 million subjects, misconceptions were unravelled and revealed layer by layer through Dench’s masterful performances. It’s a rare opportunity for common people to look the side of the “Widow of Windsor”. Nuanced turn of Dench netted her two important awards – a Golden Globe and the first Academy Award nomination.
SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Judi Dench replayed her second royal characters – the imposing Queen Elizabeth I in the film Shakespeare in Love, which netted her the awards Best Supporting Actress Oscar only for eight minutes performances. It’s said that the award was also one of the most controversial moment. The starring role caught attentions from public eyes for a leading performance from a supporting character. She established herself in the man’s profession. Every frame of Dench in films is captivating, casting the most commanding appearances.
TEA WITH MUSSOLINI
In 1999, Dench showed once again her superior ability to outshine co-stars even during less screen-time. In the film Tea With Mussolini, Judi Dench starred a trio of English Dames – Smith, Dench and Plowright. Although the film itself was a middling affair, consisting of a period piece with many commotion, not any genuine drama. Almost all screen-time was focused on Dench’s character – a lavish artist Arabella, whose addiction to Italian Renaissance history extended through screen to audiences in front of screens.
When it refers to science fiction, one rarely connect her to the genre, but Vin Diesel did this. After appreciating wonderful performances of Dench on the stage at Haymarket in London, Diesel invited her to appear in his hit Pitch Black. She immediately agreed and gleefully put on exaggerate wig and robe to play the “Air Elemental Ambassador” Aereon.