Let's Take a Moment to Reflect on the Greatness (or Whatever It Is) of Judi Dench in Cats

Illustration for article titled Lets Take a Moment to Reflect on the Greatness (or Whatever It Is) of Judi Dench in iCats/i

Cats is now available for (paid) streaming on digital platforms—what a week for it to drop and allow us to relive the frivolity of a so-bad-it-isn’t-even-good-but-actually-really-is-quite-something all over again. It was a simpler time in December when we couldn’t stop talking about Cats. I miss it. For all its flaws, there is something... almost impressive about the level of commitment Judi Dench’s performance as cat god Old Deuteronomy. She showed the fuck up. She acted like she was going to make out with several of her cat brethren regardless of gender (hey, it’s the 90s!). She came bearing a litter of pregnant pauses. She mugged. She broke the fourth wall. She licked her lips. She kicked up her leg. Her choices were eccentric across the board—no mean feat for a rather meandering narrative about cats singing for their death. Dench lived a full nine lives in that performance—and now life, as we know it, has changed. So weird. At least we can still count on one thing: A cat is not a dog.

Please enjoy the tone-poem montage below, which I assembled to pay tribute to Dench’s hard work.

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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Oh Dame Judi, you’ve come a long way from playing a near-nude Titania.


(With Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren.  Also Ian Richardson as Oberon, and Ian Holm as Puck!)