Since I was in London on vacation recently, I was especially interested in seeing The Queen. Standing outside of Buckingham Palace, I wondered what the Queen does in her daily life. Does she read the newspaper? Does she watch tv? This movie promised an intimate glimpse into the life of the Royal Family.
The movie focuses on the tension between the Queen and the new Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Blair wants to modernize the country and the government, while the Queen wants to keep the country more traditional. The problems between them intensify when Princess Diana is killed in a tragic car crash. Their difference of opinion on the style of the funeral for the former Royal almost destroys the Queen’s public image.
The movie is very quiet. It reminded me of that joke Eddie Izzard does about the difference between American movies and British movies and how everything in a British movie is very subdued. It’s true, at least for this movie. People say “Yes, of course” a lot. It threw me off a little bit, just because I am so accustomed to American explosion-every-five-minutes movies.
The movie was fantastic, though. The scenery was beautiful. The cast was absolutely phenomenal. Helen Mirren is reserved and proper, just as I always imagined the Queen of England would act. She’s witty when it’s appropriate. She’s stubborn in her values and decisions. She was unbelievably good.
The supporting cast was equally impressive. Michael Sheen is excellent as Prime Minister Tony Blair. He looks eerily like him. James Cromwell and and Roger Allam were fantastic as well.
The real news footage of the broadcasts surrounding the car crash that killed Princess Diana we well-used throughout the film. I can’t speak for the historical accuracy of the film, but it all seems as if it’s documentary-worthy. If you’re an impatient movie-watcher, this isn’t the movie for you. If you can appreciate quality movie-making and masterful acting, this is definitely the movie for you.
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