Nothing Like A Dame

UK, 2018. Dir. Roger Michell, 102 mins.

Dates and Venue Jan. 22 at 4:30pm, 6:30pm, Jan. 23 at 6:50pm, Jan. 27 at 5:10pm, Jan 29 at 5:30pm | Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver

Reviewer Darren Cordeiro

Featured within this year’s line-up for the Vancouver International Film Festival, this comedic documentary invites the audience to be invisible bystanders and listen in on an afternoon catch-up amongst four long time friends, most notably known to the rest of the world as Dames.

Dames Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, and Joan Plowright are among the most celebrated British actresses of our time, winning coveted awards for their work in drama and theatre. Now elderly women, they gossip and laugh about their decades of friendship, stemming from the start of their early careers. Throughout their discussions, they add a comedic flair playing on each other’s lines, showcasing their talent to freestyle as seasoned actresses and demonstrating the deep bond interwoven through the quartet. They touch on topics such as marriage, parenthood, women in cinema and aging. Despite their stature as Dames, their playful manner with each other and laughter makes them relatable and engaging for the audience.

The cinematography was well done with close-ups of their faces to show how they have aged despite their youthful spirits. Cuts from interviews and performances of their early years was effective in tying in parts of their discussion and providing a timeline approach to the plot. My only criticism would be that as the four leading ladies were engaged with their intimate discussion, they referred to people from their past without much explanation of their importance which left a gap in parts for the audience.

Whether you are a huge fan of British humour or just looking for a light night out, these four dames will lift your spirit and remind us that no matter your age, don’t take yourself too seriously.

© 2019 Darren Cordeiro