Friday, May 9, 2008

Images du Jour

I woke up this morning feeling rather Maggie Smith - wary, brittle, equally prepared to be amused or offended.

I had honestly forgotten how lovely she was when in Her Prime (and Miss Brodie's, although I think this is from the rather lamentable California Suite):

Even in her youth, a Dowager's touch with the pearls...

Her finest moment, still, seems to me her peerless Cousin Charlotte in that most approachable of Merchant-Ivory monuments, A Room with a View.

She is dithering, dictatorial, foolish, misguided, and quite, quite immortal. The scene at the end, in which she tells the Reverend Beebe (the very dishy Simon Callow) that "Lucy will not be going on to Constantinople" ranks with "Fasten your seatbelts!" as a favorite movie vignette.

Cousin Charlotte, here with Miss Eleanor Lavish

Now that she plays mostly crones and witches (and some of them very well - her old Queen in Richard III is fantastic), it is too easy to forget what a sophisticated and fetching young thing she was:

Feline and sleek even in a bubble cut...

All Hail Dame Maggie, Queen of the Dubious Pause and the Withering Double Take!

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