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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

December 9, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Happy birthday, Judi Dench

Guess who turns 75 today? That great Dame, Judi Dench, who’s been gracing stage, film and television for more than 50 years. And she’s celebrating this milestone birthday with a little song and dance: Just last night I watched her in “Nine,” in which she gets her own jazzy number celebrating the Folies Bergere. But Dame Judi is no stranger to the world of musicals. Here’s a clip from 1968, in which she plays Sally Bowles in the original London production of “Cabaret”:

Fabulous, no? Wish I’d been there. On the big screen, my favorite Dench roles are the eccentric novelist Eleanor Lavish in “A Room with a View” (“No, Miss Bartlett, you will not look into your Baedaker . . . We will simply drift!”), the lonely teacher Barbara Covett in “Notes on a Scandal,” Queen Elizabeth in “Shakespeare in Love,” and the marvelously imperious M in the James Bond movies. (“If you could avoid killing every possible lead,” she crisply tells Bond, “it would be deeply appreciated.”) And which are your favorites?

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