The Queen

The Queen

(2006)

'The Queen' depicts the backstage parley between PM Tony Blair, Queenie Elizabeth II and the wacky Royal family leading up to and following the death of Princess Diana. The Queen fields a backlash against her and the whanau, and struggles to comprehend British public grief over the death. But she's finally convinced to cast aside stiff royal protocol by Blair. Actress Helen Mirren, who plays Elizabeth II, says this of the film: "I hope it's a sensitive, humanist look at a very difficult time in a strange family."

  • Winner of the Best Actress Award (Mirren) at the 2007 Academy Awards. Best Actress (Mirren), Best Screenplay, Golden Globes 2007. Best Actress (Mirren) and Best Original Screenplay, Venice Film Festival 2006. Best Film, BAFTA Awards 2007.

  • Directed by Stephen Frears (Mrs. Henderson Presents, Dirty Pretty Things, High Fidelity, Mary Reilly, Dangerous Liaisons)

    Starring Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms

    Written by Peter Morgan

On Demand, DVD & Blu-Ray

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Flicks Review

The Queen is a decent yet ultimately forgettable film about the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Blair as they are caught in the media ambush following the death of Princess Diana.

It's always unusual to see a film about people who actually exist. For most of The Queen we're sitting there judging how good the impersonations are: "Wow, that guy can do Tony Blair just right!" James Cromwell, convincing in both Six Feet Under and Babe, is absolutely rubbish as Prince Phillip. But hang on, isn't the real prince also just a thin two-dimensional caricature? And then, hello, here comes Prince Charles with sticky-out ears and a hilarious voice. Great!

Helen Mirren, however, is excellent as the dignified monarch. She might move a bit quicker than the real queen and her face isn't so chubby, but she carries a real sense of dignity and an acerbic wit. It's easy to see why Tony Blair would respect her, and why Cherie Blair might feel a little bit jealous.

Unfortunately The Queen is a bit hit-and-miss in the dramatic department. A horrible moment occurs when the Queen's Land Rover breaks down in the middle of the Scottish Highlands. While she waits for help she sees the stag that the men have been hunting. "You're a beauty" she says. The symbolism here, comparing the hunted animal to the Queen in the media spotlight, is dropped on our heads like a large refrigerator.

Where The Queen excels is in its sense of humour. There are some genuinely funny moments sprinkled throughout; Tony and Cherie Blair's first meeting with the Queen stands out in particular. It's not about Will Ferrell-style mugging or physical slapstick. It's genuine wit which is rarely seen in films 'these days'.

So I wouldn't rush out to see this film. It's mildly interesting, but also mildly dull. There's some good acting, and there's some poor acting. There's genuine humour, and then there's silly symbolism. A mixed bag really. It's an unusual film probably more suited to the television set than the silver screen. [By Andy Hedley]

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 9 ratings, 7 reviews
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BY PhilMoore superstar

This is a great performance by Helen Mirren playing Queen Elizabeth II. It kicks off in the aftermath of Princess Diana's death. The whole nation and world is grieving.The royals are accused of not having a heart by not making a public appearance. Tony Blair played by Michael Sheen has just become Prime Minister and he wants to help the Queen regain the public's support. Helen Mirren plays The Queen very well. Even the Queen herself said she enjoyed the film and the performance by Mirren. I... More remember Diana's death well. I was only 11 at the time but I appreciate the impact of the whole thing more years later,as am 25 now. The film deserved the nomination for Best Picture and Mirren deserved the Oscar for Best ActressHide


BY Brian1 superstar

Now i know why the republic movement is growing.


I rate Helen a great actress but can't see how she earned an Oscar for her role in this average movie.
She is not having to go to any emotional extremes, or convince the audience of such feelings. Instead it's all steady as she goes, steady and in control of one's demeanour.
Competently done but I've evidently missed something.


I liked this movie, but it felt like I was watching a doco drama. A nice look behind the head lines of Princess Diana's death.
Mirren is absolutely right for the role as queen. Chilling to see how cold the royals really are...


It was almost eerie watching Helen Mirren play The Queen... she is so much like her at times I forgot it was a movie and she was an actress.

Made all the more real with all the real life footage of Diana this was an interesting film that seemed to provide more insight than entertainment.

Mirren deserves the Oscar nom. I ended up feeling quite bad for The Queen which I think was the point?


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The Press Reviews

97% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • BBC

    Morgan's biggest problem is getting inside Her Majesty's head. Cast as a traditionalist adrift in a fast-changing world, her public face remains her private one... The tabloid appeal is obvious, but Morgan's script is tomorrow's chip paper... Full Review

  • The Queen is a spellbinding story of opposed passions -- of Elizabeth's icy resolve to keep the royal family separate and aloof from the death of the divorced Diana, who was legally no longer a royal, and of Blair's correct reading of the public mood... Full Review

  • Fascinating, funny, wicked and to the point, this is an excellent film about a week every Briton over the age of 15 will remember vividly... Full Review

  • A fascinating mix of high-minded gossip and historical perspective, examines the clash of values -- of ritual and traditions versus media savvy and political ambition -- that leads to a crisis for the British monarchy... Full Review

  • Politically shrewd, unexpectedly funny yet immaculately tasteful docudrama... Full Review