'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."
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BY Flicks Writer
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
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BY PhilMoore superstar
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.
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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