TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – British love drama "Blithe Spirit" featuring Judi Dench and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens opens Friday (Jan. 8) in Taiwan.
Directed by Edward Hall and starring Dan Stevens, Isla Fisher, and Judi Dench, the film is adapted from the screenplay written by Noël Coward in 1941. The story centers on true love, the afterlife, and blithe spirits.
Dench performs as a fraudulent psychic, Madame Arcati, who accidentally succeeds for the first time in summoning an award-winning novelist's dead first wife during a séance. The writer, played by Stevens, not only suffers from writer's block but is also stuck in a love triangle with the ghost of his first wife and his current wife of five years.
According to The Guardian, the Oscar-winning star Dench revealed that her name was suggested to her parents by a medium. "There was a great belief in the 1930s in mediums. I think it's difficult for us to say that there is nothing," said Dench.
The veteran actress said, "There is a huge world that we don't know about. I implicitly believe that, because all sorts of things have happened to me," Dench said in the report.
Aged 86, Dench recalled the first time she met with Coward when she was a young actress in London. "He shook hands with me. I will never forget the smell of his aftershave. I don't think I washed for days. It was just magical," she said.
The film dramatically reflects modern social issues and love problems with a rich sense of humor. However, as much as the audience enjoys the hilarious fuss, the point is made that though everyone does die, "true love never dies" — as Leslie Mann, the dead wife, says when she tries to sabotage her ex-husband's marriage.
No matter what the dead or the living are plotting, the comedy centers on the universal topic of love — the key to all troubles. The story behind the cunning spiritualist is a surprise but reminds the audience to see things with compassion.
The film's screening has been postponed in the U.K. to Jan. 15. 2021.
'Blithe Spirit' trailer (Youtube video)