Simple but funny and charming – a conversation featuring four outstanding actresses who have all been knighted for their services to drama and also share a decades-long friendship. Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Joan Plowright gather for our benefit at the country cottage the latter shared with her late husband Laurence Olivier. As they look back on their rich careers in theater and film, struggle to remember the early days and talk about the realities of aging (”between us we have maybe three good eyes”), the intimacy between the ladies becomes obvious; plenty of giggling, but also moments of poignancy. Lots of clips from movies and stage productions intersperse the conversation. Sometimes, there are moments of silence, just like in a real meeting between friends when not everything needs to be spelled out.
2018-Britain. 84 min. Color. Produced by Karen Steyn. Directed by Roger Michell. Featuring Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, Maggie Smith.
Trivia: Alternative title: Tea with the Dames.
Last word: “I wanted to put these extraordinary women around a table or two and get a glimpse of their pasts, their presents, their affection for each other and their interaction with each other. I didn’t want to stage anything, repeat anything, fake anything. More in the spirit of a rockumentary than a lyrical study in Lavender: more the Rolling Stones than the rolling countryside: more Spice Girls than Sibelius.” (Michell, press kit interview)