Ladies in Lavender
English actor Charles Dance makes his directorial debut with Ladies in Lavender and is lucky enough to get Maggie Smith and Judi Dench for this moment in his career. The pair supply Dance with performances worthy of a great film, but Dance’s abilities as a director and scriptwriter result in a movie of unsatisfactory payoffs and dull performances surrounding those offered by Smith and Dench. This is a movie that I fought to like mostly for the work of Dench, an actress who will always be amazing. Smith does nice work as well, and the two try to breath life into Dance’s meandering screenplay and dull visuals. While the film and the actresses’ work sometimes hint at a production of emotional power, what we really wind up with is a story about two older women having tea and listening to the radio. Not very exciting.