Tea With the Dames 2.0 stars

Tea With the Dames movie poster

Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright, and Eileen Atkins invite the cameras to join them for several of their regular afternoon teas as they reminisce about their more than fifty years of friendship — from their modest beginnings to their years of taking home awards by the carload — and take turns contributing to a Master Class on acting. But while these four actresses are magnificent, their choice of directors is less so; Roger Mitchell (Notting Hill, Hyde Park on the Hudson) makes his biggest contribution by moving the discussion indoors at the sight of rain. Remove the illustrative clips, and what’s left is the royal equivalent of an audio book. Your feelings for the Dames in question will no doubt dictate whether a visit to your local art cinema is in order, but there’s nothing here that would take a hit in a small-screen viewing. And what with all the talk of Downton Abbey, there’s a good chance that this will go from theaters to PBS in about a week. 2018.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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