I had forgotten that the unsinkable Dame Maggie Smith was featured in the movie as a wealthy New York socialite who aids the first wives in their revenge schemes against their former husbands and their mistresses, and when she appeared on screen, as spicy (and old) as always, I felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
I've loved Maggie Smith, the perpetual old lady, since I first saw her in Hook, as the extremely endearing and decrepit Wendy, all grown up and with great grand children. It wasn't until years later that I realized the makeup department must have "olded" her up a bit for that particular role - I just assumed she visited the same Fountain of Youth as Sean Connery and that was why she looked younger every year in subsequent film roles (ala the Curious Case of Dame Maggie Smith).
The other old lady roles that deepened my love of the Dame?
- Clash of the Titans (1981, as Thetis - bordering on middle aged)
- Sister Act (1992, as Mother Superior)
- The Secret Garden (1993, as Mrs. Medlock)
- Gosford Park (2001, as Constance Trentham)
- Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002, as Caro Eliza Bennet)
What I have recently come to realize, thanks to infallible Internet sources like IMDB and Wikipedia, is that Dame Maggie Smith was not, in fact, born old (although I'm still trying to make my case for it in the Wiki user boards). She was young once upon a time, and apparently, she was a great actress back then too!
I spent an hour browsing Maggie's IMDB page and discovered lots of interesting tidbits, including the following:
Dame Maggie Smith is a two-time Academy Award winner for her roles in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969, Best Actress in a Leading Role) and California Suite (1978, Best Actress in a Supporting Role), in addition to being nominated four other times for her roles in Othello (1965), Travels With My Aunt (1972), A Room With a View (1985), and Gosford Park (2001).
Maggie appeared alongside that other fabulous Dame, Judi Dench, in several movies I need to add to my Netflix list, including A Room With a View (1985), Tea With Mussolini (1999), and Ladies in Lavender (2004).
Wikipedia also states that Maggie Smith plans to temporarily retire from acting in 30 years, after which she will be cryogenically frozen and revived in the year 3012 so that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy the Dame's performances*. How great is that? Dame Maggie Smith: perpetually old, perpetually awesome.
*These statements have not yet been verified and are still under peer review.