The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) from Tuna

I adore quirky British comedies, and I am a huge fan of swing/big band music, so there was no way I could not like this joint BBC/HBO effort. Dame Judi Dench plays a recent widow who played in a WW II big band called the Blonde Bombshells, and remembers it as the best time of her life. She hears  a street guitarist who plays swing music, and starts joining him to "help him get the changes right." When her grand daughter catches her playing her tenor sax, she tells her about the band. She asks, "What do you know about WW II, 1934 to 1944?" Answers the granddaughter, "We beat the Germans one nil." When the male drummer from the otherwise all girl band makes contact with her doing her street act, they decide to reunite the band to play at the Granddaughter's school.
Naturally, Dench's family doesn't approve, and the old band members are not all alive, and are decidedly characters. The film jumps effortlessly  between WW II memories and the present day, and features a fantastic assortment of tunes from the era. Other cast members include Ian Holm, Leslie Caron, and Olympia Dukakis.  



DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic

  • no meaningful features

In one of the  mostly rave comments, one IMDb reader said, "It's a refreshing antidote to some of the pretentious garbage being ground out by the studios." I couldn't possibly agree more. I am off to try and find a sound track. Even if you are not usually fond of musicals or romantic comedies, I think you will like this one unless you detest the music. 

Scoop's notes in yellow: This show also stars the legendary jazz singer Cleo Laine. 

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

  • Judy Dench's performance won Best TV Actress at the British Academy awards, although this is not surprising, since Dame Dench is the only actress in the U.K. (All kidding aside, she has been nominated 13 times for BAFTA awards, having won six times. Except for a "Newcomer" award, she was never nominated before her 50th birthday in 1984, but she has easily made up for lost time)

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 7.6 
  • With their dollars ... made for TV
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B.

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