Tea With The Dames Taught Us A Lot About Hollywood’s Finest Women
Say the word ‘splendid’. And now repeat it four times. What you get is Tea With the Dames starring all four legends from British stage and cinema Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Judi Dench, Dame Joan Plowright, and Dame Maggie Smith. Roger Michell’s fantastic documentary brings together the four elements of the universe to a coffee table where they participate in spontaneous, lively, animated conversations filling the aura around them with thrill, excitement, knowledge, and a sophisticated glint of the vintage.
These women are somewhere in their 80s, they are older than us, wiser than us, and much more independent. These women have perspectives, whether it is on the novel approach of actors today or on their ex-husbands. And when they take on things sitting at the table giggling, chatting, and gossiping, there is a lot of inspiration and insight to draw from. There voyages date back to the 1960s and continue even today. They have a lot up their kitty including Emmys, Oscars, and Lifetime achievement awards. And most importantly a refined experience that sets them above all the entertainers today.
Judi Dench is the most self-aware of all. And that is something we repeatedly get from her interactions. Judi Dench is precisely a queen. She is elaborately adorned in necklaces, bracelets, and bangles. Dench is formidable who has sound knowledge of the fact she is the most celebrated and accomplished one of the other three. She is diplomatically manipulative, quick on the defense and cunning. But, at the same time, her queenly psyche knows how to only fix other queens. She carries a classic starry attitude but from where she stands it is completely justifiable.
In Tea With the Dames, it is clear that Eileen Atkins is everyone’s wannabe, grand mom. She is ageless and young spirited. What fuels her is a zealous fire that has ignited inside her for ages and refuses to extinguish. She is evergreen who wants perfect pictures clicked from the perfect angles. She is somewhat reserved; who isn’t exactly moved by the opinion of others. She has a modest take on things and goes by an agenda that keep things in control. Atkins is no short of a perfectionist. Soundly aware of the fact that her sexiness kept her employed for more than 50 years. She isn’t the one who’d go on taking risks, and even if she does do so there is a proper contingency planning at hand.
Joan Plowright is preciously right. She is the one person with qualities rarely found today. And that is, she tries to be genuinely and morally nice. It’s obvious in Tea with the Dames documentary as well. She is a loyal friend who is eloquent, witty, humorous and smart. She would be the kind of person in the group who is clumsy and whose hearing aid would fall off often. Like the person who would render good light-hearted entertainment in a group and cheer everyone up.
She is insanely talented, and her laid-back façade cannot guise the prowess that overflows from her aura. Plowright is mostly candid about her life career, and even her highly publicized marriage to Laurence Olivier who gradually became from his idol, to her co-star, to her husband. She has a strictly creative grasp over original poetry and he doesn’t like all upgrades of modern Shakespeare performances. “Shakespeare is poetry, and it does have a rhythm,” she says. “[Naturalism performances are] like, you bring it down to you and your size, instead of reaching up to it.”
Maggie Smith is someone who truly represents what being an old woman is. She will hilariously meander off sideways when talking about things, will condescend and patronize, will be unconvinced with practically everything to some extent, yet will shine with glory through her professional record. Moreover, she remembers her stage experiences vividly, but not without all the reservations and limitations she had during her time. When she was unconvinced about shining as Cleopatra, she did the show only in Canada where no one would know better. Consequently, she is on every level a queen and much like the other three dames, she continues to be a source of immense inspiration.