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DVD Giveaway: Name Your Favorite Judi Dench Movie for a Copy of Philomena

DVD Giveaway: Name Your Favorite Judi Dench Movie for a Copy of Philomena

The hilarious and heartbreaking Philomena, about an elderly Irish woman’s search for the son who was adopted against her will by the Catholic church, is finally out on DVD, Blu-Ray, VOD, and Pay Per View.  

Based on true events, the film was nominated for four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actress for Dench, Best Adapted Screenplay for co-star Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope, and Best Original Score for Alexander Desplat.

In honor of Dench’s masterful performance, Women and Hollywood will choose three winners to win a copy of the DVD. 

To participate, name your favorite Judi Dench movie and performance and explain why in the comments below by Thursday, April 17th at 12 PM EST. Please do not send emails, as they will not be considered. 

The first-place winner will receive a signed DVD and a copy of journalist Martin Sixsmith’s book, on which the film is based. (Coogan’s character is based on Sixsmith.) Second- and third-place winners will receive a DVD or Blu-Ray (depending on their preference) and the book as well. 

We’ll run the winners’ answers in a future post. FYI – This contest is available to U.S. residents only. 

Note: Please comment with the email address you want to be contacted at if you are chosen as the winner. 

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Jay B

Judi Dench is an incredible and classic actor that it is difficult to choose a favorite film of which she has been a part of whether it be from a classic, such as Branagh’s Shakespeare films, to a more commercial film such as The Chronicles of Riddick. With this said, I adored her performance in Notes on a Scandal. Dench takes what some might consider a typical story and creates a character that is tragic and permanently memorable.


Whether you believe it or not, my favorite Dame Judy Dench role is the titular character in ‘Philomena’. Her performance in the film utilized so much of her talent in creating characters moving and memorable, but she also added so much humor. Often, I see Dench perform roles as commanding authoritarians, but in this film, she showed me a complex character that externally appeared as simple, but internally displayed an incredibly complex and real woman. Coogan and her make an incredible pair. I love that this film exists. That there is a film that can be humorous without trivializing the serious problems the film addresses in any way, shape or form.

Yusuf Nasrullah

There is not an iota of doubt in my mind that DAME JUDI DENCH would have grabbed her second Oscar trophy for "Notes on A Scandal", had Mirren's 'Queen' blitz not been so incandescent that year. I absolutely loved her performance in "Notes…"; she played the predatory older lesbian lady with her simmering desires for young female company to a hilt, and was both menacing and pathos-inducing. Where she mocked Blanchett for "loving her cretin of a child more than me", or throttled her for ignoring the demise of her cat or blackmailed Blanchett's hubby (Bill Nighy) with an acidic, "I can explain perfectly, would you like me to?", she was absolutely believable and frighteningly good. The ending which implies the transference of her affections to another unsuspecting young teacher just chilled my spine entirely. Yes, no doubts at all…NOTES ON A SCANDAL is my favourite Dench flick!

Alicia Mendoza

It's so hard to choose just one favorite Judi Dench movie. She has been great in every movie she does, but I have to say Philomena is my favorite.


Judi Dench is a phenomenal actress but my favorite Dench film would be "Shakespeare in Love." Her role as Queen Elizabeth blew me away and stole the show! I remember watching the film as a kid and realizing I'd been holding my breath the moment she had appeared on the screen. Needless to say, ever since then, I've been a loyal fan.


I love Judi Dench's performance in the BBC TV movie Cranford. I had grown accustomed to Dench as an austere and commanding presence, making her mark even in the shortest of appearances (as in Shakespeare in Love), but in Cranford, as Matty Jenkyns she shines as a wholly decent woman living in a quiet English village. Dench's performance is full of warmth and she is able to radiate immense goodness without ever becoming cloying or theatrical. It is a testament to Dench's range and abilities that Matty never becomes a creature to be pitied, despite the hardships and losses she endures. Dench's performance is the heart and soul of the movie, and just proves how talented an actress she is. She elevates material that could have become sappy or preachy in lesser hands and instead is able to create an emotionally moving but still grounded, intelligent performance and character study.

Aniko Varadi

It is hard to choose, as she is a wonderful actress and all her performances are above all measures. My favorite is the Ladies in Lavender because she plays so well all levels of emotions, worry, hope, disappointment, concern and love, love of the never happened before, love of the character was always hoping for, forgivness and proud, just to mention a "few". She can express so much with just a look, a pause, a silence. No matter what role is she playing she is always authentic and true to the character and the audience believes that she IS the character herself, not an actress who is doing her job. She is just breathtakingly talented, and wonderfully human! I would really treasure a signed Philomena dvd!


In "Notes on a Scandal" Judi Dench gave such a nuanced, layered performance. It is my favorite Judi Dench film.


Judi in the brilliant NINE. Not a crowd pleaser, I know – but I promise — years from now, they'll unearth this film as the masterpiece it is. With Judi Dench's contribution, nothing short of gorgeous.

Sarah L

It's so hard to pick a favorite because Judi Dench is exceptional in every performance. However, I think I have to choose "Mrs. Brown" because of her stunning performance as Queen Victoria. The choices she made playing that role communicated the subtle strengths and frailties of the Queen, fleshing out a historical figure who is often seen as a caricature. That is what Judi Dench excels at; finding the vulnerability in a role that we can all relate to.


Goldeneye is my favorite of her movies because it is my favorite Bond film and I love me some Bond!

Sean A

My favorite is her role as Evelyn Greenslade in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The movie is beautiful in both cinematography and in characters. Rarely do movies provide roles for older people that have more substance than being a main character's grandparent or parent. It's especially notable in this movie that all the characters are individualized and come with their own complexities and problems. It's such a delight to have Dench in the film among other astonishing actors, and her character finds such happiness and renewal in life, as if she's getting another chance at life.

Notes on a Scandal is a close second.

Bernie W

My favorite Judy Dench movie is "Skyfall". Although it is not her best performance, it brought a real humanity to the character of James Bond. It is one of the few non Sean Connery James Bonds that is worth watching. I also really enjoy her narration on the "Spaceship Earth" ride at Epcot Center.

Ross A. Lincoln

Judi Dench is an international treasure, but perhaps my favorite thing about her is that she personifies the ability of British actors to completely slum it without damaging credibility or giving the impression they don't give a damn about the role, even if you're amazed they took the part. Which is why my favorite thing she's ever done is playing Aereon in The Chronicles of Riddick. It isn't a great movie. It's not even a good movie. But it is a Vin Diesel movie, which is reason enough for me to tolerate it, and helping that along is Judi Dench in what amounts to her channeling Alec Guinness as Obi Wan Kenobi, without the constantly snarking about how much she hated the work. She was never going to win any awards for this dreck, but god damn did she take this part seriously.


My favorite Dench performance was her role in Notes on A Scandal. She was sympathetic and even pitiable as a lonely old schoolteacher who befriends new art instructor Cate Blanchett, but as the film progresses her layers of neediness, judgment, and vindictiveness shine light on on how desperately frightening her character truly is.

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