‘The Queen’ has been out since 2006 and received rave reviews and garnered an Oscar Award as best actress for Helen Mirren, but I just last night got around to seeing it. DH bought the DVD for me for Christmas, and we thoroughly enjoyed watching it on our big screen (to think I hated that enormous ugly gray box when we bought it.) It is a family movie, no sex and violence and rough language, imagine that.
Seeing movies far after their popular run is usual for me. I do not even pretend to keep up with the day, a trait that gave me instant empathy for Queen Elizabeth in the film, which is a biography of her, encapsulated in one incident in her life— the death of Princess Diana.
I’m not certain I would have watched the movie had I known that it was set around the death of Princess Diana. I pretty much had my fill of her when she and Prince Charles were an item, then divorced, and her death was plastered all over the news for months. (Perhaps the ravenous public interest in all things ‘Di’ was what the movie producers counted on.) I admit that Diana was a pretty and nice woman, but certainly she did no more than was required for any nice woman of her position. Pretty and nice women die every day in horrible car wrecks, and they do not even get a mention on the news. Frankly I just did not get all the uproar. Apparently neither did the queen.
The film is worth viewing for Helen Mirren’s masterful acting. Mirren herself disappears into her portrayal of Elizabeth. The story is tight, each scene necessary and compelling. The filming is beautiful, not only the scenes of the castles and gardens and rugged north landscape, but even those scenes in the Prime Minister’s offices and home. They are crisp and clear and portray the people and their times in contrast to those of the royal family. There are no good-guys or bad-guys in this film, except perhaps the media, which comes off looking pretty…well, like they really are. The movie is a portrayal of people, and as such always vastly interesting.
Let me add that I found a number of exchanges funny in the film, and I believe a number were meant to be funny, thankfully. I do hate unremitting drama. However, I admit that I possibly found some things funny because of not being British, and my general irreverent nature. And I kept wondering if all those people who stood outside the palace gates and wailed for Diana did not have jobs and families and lives to attend.
Not that anybody asked.