Spilling the Tea: Tea With the Dames – WIFF Movie Review

Tea-With-The-DamesThe documentary Tea With the Dames, directed by Roger Michell  is an intimate look into the lives of Dames; Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith. Now you may be asking yourself, what shenanigans could possibly take place when you get four legendary British actresses in the same room together?  Well if you think these ladies are just snooty and uptight, you may be in for quite a surprise, as these feisty octogenarians can dish it out and roll with the punches like you wouldn’t believe.

Drinking tea and later on sneaking in some champagne, there are so many memorable moments in the film. I will admit that I was not very familiar with all the work of Eileen Atkins and Joan Plowright, but they now hold quite a special place in my heart, as their individual accomplishments and talents are worthy of acknowledgement and praise.

If I’m going to be totally honest (which you know I am), Judi Dench and Maggie Smith really unintentionally stole the spotlight. Although all four are close friends, Judi and “Mags” have the best chemistry together, and you can really feel it from their banter back and forth. Judi’s occasional but hilarious foul-mouthed outbursts and Maggie’s ridiculously sarcastic charm and wit keep you wanting more.

Even the most melancholy topics (yep, grim reaper I’m talking about you!) don’t really faze these youthful Dames, as they talk openly about their embarrassing moments, frustrations, and insecurities throughout their careers and even today.

When you exit the theatre,  you’ll be left thinking about the words of wisdom from these dignified Dames who encourage and support each other in a way that make the bonds of friendship everlasting. Getting older doesn’t mean you stop having fun. No, never. You can drink champagne without a poignant reason for celebration (just being alive is a gift in itself), but you also know that you may need a nap in the afternoon and that’s okay too.