1 VIC­TO­RIA & AB­DUL STAR­RING: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal

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Ef­fort­lessly re­gal as ever, Dench robes up to play Queen Vic­to­ria in her swan-song years, frail but still a force to be reck­oned with, as her house­hold dis­cov­ers to their hor­ror when she en­coun­ters charmer Ab­dul (Bollywood star Fazal)—a ser­vant! and a Mus­lim!—and makes him her con­fi­dante. As di­rected by Stephen Frears (who shep­herded Dench to an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for 2013’s Philom­ena), this odd cou­pling is gen­uinely en­ter­tain­ing. (Out now)

The film is based on Ab­dul’s diaries, which were only un­earthed in 2010.

You can’t keep a good queen down: Dench as turn-ofthe-cen­tury Vic­to­ria.

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