7.4/10
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14 user 35 critic

Tea with the Dames (2018)

Nothing Like a Dame (original title)
Unrated | | Documentary | 2 May 2018 (UK)
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1:47 | Trailer

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Dames Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith get together for tea to reminisce and discuss their acting careers.

Director:

Roger Michell
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Popularity
4,738 ( 1,815)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Eileen Atkins ... Herself
Judi Dench ... Herself
Joan Plowright ... Herself
Maggie Smith ... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frank Finlay ... Iago (archive footage)
Roger Michell ... Himself
Vanessa Redgrave ... Herself (archive footage)
Michael Williams ... Himself / Mike (archive footage)
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Storyline

Dames Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith have let the cameras in on a friendship that goes back more than half a century. The four acting greats discuss their careers and reminisce about their humble beginnings in the theatre.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 May 2018 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Tea with the Dames See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$14,777, 23 September 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$867,888, 3 January 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Despite the title, the dames are never actually seen drinking tea. See more »

Quotes

Roger Michell: What would your advice be to your younger selves?
Judi Dench: Oh, christ...
See more »

Connections

Features A Fine Romance (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A bit twee - but still worth a watch
21 June 2018 | by HalBanksySee all my reviews

A quite charming look back at the careers of four legendary British actresses. Joan Plowright makes the most poignant comments - but often felt at a distance from the others (this was mostly down to her impaired sight and hearing though.) Eileen Atkins is chirpy, and comes up with a few witty quips. The film is surprisingly funny and irreverent.

Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are definitely the highlight. Truly vivacious women, and their friendship is obviously genuine. They seem to be always reminiscing some old private joke, which is kept a secret from the audience. Mischievous smiles and knowing glances constantly shared - a better documentary could likely be made by just focusing on them.

It's a good idea for a film - and perhaps could be revisited with other "acting Dames." Helen Mirren, Diana Rigg, Julie Walters, etc. The great Vanessa Redgrave ( who makes a fleeting appearance here in archival footage) would have been an interesting addition to the conversation - although she did of course refuse the offer of a damehood.

The film lacked in some places. The topic of conversation was all a bit dainty. Surely these four women must have experienced a lot over such great careers - so it's a shame the opportunity for serious discussion was missed. Far too much time was spent fawning over Laurence Olivier. It's understandable he should come up (having worked with all four women, and been married to one of them) but this got a bit tiring after a while. Overall, I enjoyed the film but really expected a more thoughtful or contemplative look at the life of an actress. Perhaps more direct questioning or moderation would have got more out of the Dames.


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