Judi Dench Fans, Rejoice! Even The Year That Will Bring Her 80th Birthday And May Bring Her First Best Actress Oscar Isn't Slowing This Late-Blooming Film Acting Legend Down. She's Just Getting Started
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Jan. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- With awards, nominations and some of the best reviews of her storied career already pouring in for Dame Judi Dench's title performance in the multiply-nominated and awarded film, "Philomena," a portrayal which may bring about public and religious policies protecting young mothers from enduring forced adoption of their children, the acting icon is making it clear that she's just getting started. Or at least that she has no plans to slow down the run of awarded film performance which she began at the ripe young age of 63.
Even a recent knee replacement will not cause her to replace her passion for work in films of great meaning for directors of great accomplishment. "Philomena" director Stephen Frears' list of awarded motion pictures includes "The Grifters," "Dangerous Liaisons," "My Beautiful Launderette" and "The Queen" which recently earned Helen Mirren the Best Actress Academy Award. Dench points out that great direction doesn't always involve detailed or stern directives. "I love working with Stephen. He hardly says anything, but he subtly helps you get the drift of it."
A culminating performance like "Philomena," a new high in a fifteen year film acting career which already includes six Academy Award nominations and a Best Supporting Actress Oscar (for "Shakespeare In Love,") promises more culmination to come. Her non-stop schedule has Dench on the way to India to film the sequel to "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," once more under the direction of John Madden who also piloted "Shakespeare In Love."
Another key figure in the unstoppable crescendo of Dench's film successes, and a reason for her unabating appetite for more films of significant public impact, is Harvey Weinstein. As the influential film industry trade paper, The Hollywood Reporter, recently noted of Dench, "the 79-year-old British legend, who has scored six Oscar noms since turning 63 -- five for Weinstein-distributed films -- might well nab a seventh nod on Jan. 16."
The respected trade journal went on to say, "It would be an understatement to describe Dench and Weinstein as a Hollywood 'odd couple.' Dench, 79, is the elegant British actress who has performed Shakespeare on stage, conquered TV and, since turning 63, scored six Oscar noms." In observing that "the critically-acclaimed Weinstein Co. film 'Philomena' has received a Golden Globe nom for best picture and garnered Dench best actress Critics' Choice, Globe and SAG," it quoted the actress as saying, "It's because of Harvey that I've got a film career." Weinstein began Dench's film eminence when he saw a British film headed to television, "Mrs. Brown," gave it an enthusiastic film release and secured the actress' first Best Actress Oscar nomination.
Weinstein, backing up Dench's assurance that "neither charging youthfully up to eighty or replaced knee or even joining the ranks of other legends who have won the Best Actress Oscar will move her one step toward retirement. She says she feels like 43. Eighty is just the speed she's driving."
The Hollywood Reporter's story also speculated that "The duo's latest collaboration, 'Philomena,' might well be their most moving yet." Judging from the attention it has brought to the issue of forced adoptions (and also the theme of the manner in which American politicians have had to adhere to don't-ask-don't-tell regarding gender orientation), the film already is the most impactful of their joint ventures. Dench plays the real-life Philomena Lee, an Irish mother who, after 50 years, set out to find the son she had as a girl been bullied into giving up for adoption. Her co-star, Steve Coogan, obtained the rights to the best-selling book, "The Lost Child of Philomena Lee" by Martin Sixsmith. Coogan, who adapted the script with Jeff Pope, portrays Sixsmith who aided Mrs. Lee in her spiritually triumphant and emotionally charged quest.
"Philomena" begins its wide US national release January 10.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio's history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay's UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; 1408; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE IRON LADY; W.E.; CORIOLANUS; UNDEFEATED; THE ARTIST; BULLY; THE INTOUCHABLES; LAWLESS; KILLING THEM SOFTLY; THE MASTER; SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK; DJANGO UNCHAINED; QUARTET; ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; DARK SKIES; THE SAPPHIRES; SCARY MOVIE 5; and KON-TIKI. Currently in release are UNFINISHED SONG and FRUITVALE STATION, LEE DANIELS' THE BUTLER, THE GRANDMASTER, SALINGER, and 12-12-12, PHILOMENA, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM and AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. Upcoming releases include ONE CHANCE and VAMPIRE ACADEMY.
TWC is active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production Meryl Poster. TWC is the studio behind such hit television series as the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series PROJECT RUNWAY and its spin-off series PROJECT RUNWAY ALL STARS and PROJECT ACCESSORY; the VH1 reality series MOB WIVES and its spin-off series MOB WIVES CHICAGO and BIG ANG; and the critically acclaimed scripted HBO comedy/crime series THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY which also received a Peabody Award. The company is in production on the upcoming TLC series WELCOME TO MYRTLE MANOR, the A&E series RODEO QUEENS, and the Lifetime reality competition show SUPERMARKET SUPERSTAR hosted by Stacy Keibler. Among TWC's other projects in development for television are the martial-arts epic MARCO POLO for Starz, an untitled private eye procedural for FX, and THE NANNY DIARIES developed by ABC with a pilot by Amy Sherman Palladino.
SOURCE The Weinstein Company