With her striking and eloquent voice, her short stature and clipped Queen’s English speech Dench is normally cast as the typical upper-crust English woman and has in fact been called upon to play two British queens on various occasions, one of which garnered her an Oscar (Best Supporting Actress as Queen Elizabeth I in 1999’s Shakespeare in Love). However her whimsy and wicked sense of humour have also drawn Dench to a number of more unusual roles.
One of Dench’s most notorious roles is that of M in various Bond films, beginning with her first appearance in James Bond: Goldeneye in 1995. She has reprised her role of the curt, cold and yet somehow motherly character in seven bond films and provided voice talents for a number of spin offs from the franchise. Dench’s ability to embody both stern and calculating leadership alongside a delicate maternal instinct was so well observed that it became the basis of the most recent Bond film, James Bond: Skyfall (2012).
This film marks the end of Dench’s role in the Bond franchise and ends with her signing her mantle of “M” over to Ralph Finnes.
What most critics have continually noted and commented on regarding Dench and her acting abilities is the way in which she can often express vast and numerous emotions, both utilizing her extraordinarily versatile vocal talents along with her imperceptibly emotive face. Her eyes, which often twinkle with mischief, are also well known for their stern glares, a single judging look from Dench has been enough to make many characters wilt like dying flowers.
Yet Dench does not credit her abilities as the honed talents of an intellectual but rather characterizes her acting as an animal instinct.
“… it has nothing to do with intelligence or intellect of any sort. It’s a guy feeling.”
Dench’s abilities, whether learnt or inherent, have nonetheless garnered her numerous awards and certificates including seven Olivier awards for her work in theatre, eleven BAFTA’s and in 2011 she was awarded a Fellowship Award from the British Film Institute for her services to cinema. In 1988 she was awarded an OBE and made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the performing arts.
Here is collection of Judi Dench films we carry in our extensive library of over 90,000 titles. Rent new releases as well as back catalogue of Judi Dench films on DVD and Blu-ray with our no obligation Free Trial offer.