The 9 Best Judi Dench Films, Because She's A Living Legend & These Movies Are Classics
Dame Judi Dench is a national treasure and you know it. She has been making movies since before you were even a twinkle in your parents' eyes and is absolutely still killing it in every project she takes on. So needless to say picking the best Judi Dench films is a bit of a task.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Dench kicked off her career starring in Hamlet at The Royal Shakespeare Company, having been discovered at the tender age of 22. Since then she has starred in innumerable films, and proven she can play all sorts of roles.
Now aged 84 she defies any stereotype about age. Her career is flourishing and she previously spoke to The Telegraph about her feelings about the word "retirement", saying she considers it a "rude word". Add to that the fact that she got her first tattoo at age 81 and you have a person who's life in later years is truly something to aspire to.
Dench and her now deceased husband Michael Williams met working as actors, and their romance was fresh out of a fairytale. Apparently he sent her a red rose every Friday no matter where either of them was in the world. Cheesy, yes, but OMG adorable. So without further ado, these are the very best Judi Dench films you absolutely need to see because she's a living legend and we're lucky to have her.
1. 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'—2011
A film about some super extraordinary older people who make the choice to go and live in India to have a more favourable and affordable life. The hotel is advertised as a beautiful retirement hotel, and a group of retirees move there to find a not so glamorous situ.
There is a lot of culture clash LOLs and real talk that makes this film an actual tear fest. And those tears are from laughter as well as sadness.
2. 'Notes On A Scandal'—2006
A tale about a lady who turns from BFF to psycho stalker after realising her mate who she is low key in love with is getting cosy with one of her students.
Thus ensues a lot of bribery and life ruining. I know right? Pure entertainment. Also always kind of shocking seeing bae Dench being a horrid person. Love it.
3. 'Victoria & Abdul'—2015
Dench plays Queen Victoria for the second time round. I guess if it ain't broke don't fix it, right?
This film is about the close relationship between Queen Victoria and her servant, teacher, and friend Abdul, who looked after her in her older years. He was so beloved to her that she gave him many gifts and chose to learn Urdu and the Quran from him.
Her courtiers and inner circle were so jealous of the relationship between them that they tried to destroy their relationship and went on to send him back to India after the queen's death.
4. 'Nothing Like A Dame'—2018
The only documentary in the bunch, this is a film about classic female actors and the acting world. Dench stars alongside fellow legends Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Joan Plowright, and Dame Maggie Smith.
It is basically them meeting up for a catch up and a natter about the old days for your televisual pleasure. Heaven.
5. 'The Importance Of Being Earnest'—2002
The cinematic version of the famous play of the same name by Oscar Wilde—this one brings the LOLs from the get go. Not only is like, every line way too clever to deal with, but also the feels are mega in this one.
Dench starred as Lady Bracknell, a meddling rich mother who is desperately hard to please.
Her acerbic comedic timing is on fleek in this film.
6. 'Shakespeare In Love'—1999
Dench's performance as Queen Elizabeth I was so excellent in this film that she won an Oscar for best supporting actress even though she was only in the film for a mere eight minutes. During her acceptance speech she said
"I feel for eight minutes on the screen, I should only get a little bit of him".
Based on the book of the same name, Philomena is about an Irish woman who had her child taken from her 50 years previously because she was a teenage unmarried mother, in an Ireland far removed from the more liberal country it has now become.
This one is honestly tear-inducing from the trailer alone.
IMO The best Bond of all time was Pierce Brosnan. Call me controversial, I do my best. Dench was his M and IMO, again, the best M ever.
9. 'Mrs Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children—2016
Dench starred alongside French actor Eva Green as Miss Esmeralda Avocet, a headmistress of another school for peculiar children. Her hair is particularly magnificent in this film.