The Queen Review

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The Daddy's review of The Queen


The Queen is a generally enjoyable film focusing on...”

Written on: 14/05/2007 by The Daddy (70 reviews written)

Good Points
A good insight into the immediate aftermath of Diana
Some good old fashioned British humour

Bad Points
Quite a short film - under 90 mins

General Comments
The Queen is a generally enjoyable film focusing on life in Buckingham Palace after Princess Diana's horrific car crash. The star of the film is Helen Mirren who cleaned up on the awards for her portrayal as her Maj and while it is a good performance from one of Britain's favourite Dame's, I didn't think it warranted the critical applause the accompanied it.

Anyway, onto the film, which like Mirren's performance, is good but not exactly perfect. We begin just before Diana's death and at the point where the fresh faced Tony Blair is whirled into power in the summer of 97. The chap who plays Blair (Michael Sheen), has got this down to a tee and his take on the newly elected PM does create a a few laughs - the trademark Blair bumbling is there for all to see. Sheen resists the temptation to go the whole hog on the p***-taking though and as a result does the character justice (cue abuse) when he needs to be serious.

The film spends about the first ten minutes on Blair's rise to prominence - including his first meeting with The Queen - before getting into the real subject at hand - Diana and that horrendous night in Paris.

From here on in the movie concentrates on the seven days following the Princess's death and the handling of the affair by the monarchy and the PM.

I think this film works because it mixes the poignant, tragic and comic which tells a seemingly accurate yet fair tale of crisis management by the key players. There are definite moments of poignancy as The Queen struggles to come to terms with public outcry of emotion and fiercely refuses to bow to popular demand with grand gestures such as flying the flag at half mast (never been done before).

The comedy comes in the unsurprising form of Prince Philip and Blair's right hand man Alistair Campbell. The two actors are clearly having a ball in these two rolls and the pair of them get all the best lines throughout. The Duke, not surprisingly, being more interested in hunting stags then dealing with the problems facing the family as public opinion begins to turn against them.

Tragedy is obviously the subject matter and the way in which The Queen deals with the events of the day.

I imagine the most aggrieved person to watch this film would be Prince Charles. Old Big Ears is portrayed as a bit of a sly coward in what seems to be the only unfair performance in the whole film. Blair on the other hand comes across as saintly from virtually all angles. Amazing how a decade changes things eh Tone??

All in all a good film, not mesmerizing, but pretty good none-the-less and allegedly a fairly accurate account of proceedings. All Brits should check it out.

  • Helen Mirren, James Cromwell & Michael Sheen

    Starring Actor/Actress

  • DVD

    Where Did You See It?

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