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In our pages: Judi Dench's disappointing memoir

March 24, 2011 |  7:37 am

Judidench_furthermoreJudi Dench, who has won one Oscar and been nominated for five more and racked up too many stage acting awards to count, has penned a new memoir, "And Furthermore." It's designed to fill in some gaps left by a perfectly acceptable biography published in 1998 -- John Miller's  "Judi Dench: With a Crack in Her Voice."

In our review, Jessica Gelt writes:

Unfortunately those gaps are filled with encyclopedic detail about every production Dench has worked on, accompanied by lists of names of the many actors she has worked with. As a result "And Furthermore" fails to hang its prop hat on anything resembling Dench's inner life or emotions. For fans of Dench, this is disappointing, especially since the actress is famous for taking her audience on rich emotional journeys with her work.

For example, even though the book is dedicated to Dench's daughter, Finty, and her grandson, Sammy, very little about Finty is mentioned aside from the fact that she was born. Sammy is not mentioned once, although he does appear in several of the wonderful photos that pepper the book and are drawn from Dench's personal files....

Clearly her family was extremely close and quite unique. But in "And Furthermore" Dench dedicates two milquetoast paragraphs to her father's death before she is off to Chapter 4, titled, "Exciting Times at Nottingham and Oxford."

From an actress who brings such emotional depth to her roles, Gelt writes, readers can't help but hope for a little more on the page. Instead, her personal life is passed over for professional one. Read the complete review of Judi Dench's "And Furthermore" here.

-- Carolyn Kellogg