The true story of the well-to-do widow who bought a theatre and introduced nudity to future fleshpot Soho should surely be a gleeful romp, but somehow Mrs Henderson Presents becomes a stale history lesson. Dame Judi Dench plays the eponymous patron with trademark poise and grace but is sorely let down both by producer/co-star Bob Hoskins, who fails to either maintain his accent or ignite any chemistry, and sleepwalking director Stephen Frears. Still, Joker-mouthed crooner Will Young is surprisingly passable as a foppish performer who bares all to persuade the chorus line to do the same.
Where the film could shine, in the sumptuous musical numbers, it opts for static shots as opposed to Fosse-style staging and it's hard to care about the turgid, victims-of-the-Blitz subplot. Breasts have never been so boring.