A 1001 Films review. The Queen documents the week in which Princess Diana died, and the royals ummed and ahhed over how to publicly react to her death. She was no longer really a royal, so officially it should have been “a private matter”. However, the public were grieving the loss of “the people’s princess” and wanting the Royal Family to acknowledge that.

Most of the film is a sort of back and forth between the newly-elected Tony Blair (played by Michael Sheen, who was actually revising the role of Blair from an earlier TV movie called The Deal), and Queen Elizabeth II (a spot-on performance by Helen Mirren).

The film is quite impressive from an acting perspective, and Alexandre Desplat’s score is quite rich – and the DVD has a nice 5.1 mix that lets it ring out. But there are also many times when I felt that things were being spelt out quite simply (perhaps for Americans?).

On the whole, the best strength of the film is that whether you are Republican or Royalist, the film manages to touch on all those points of view, but ultimately rises above it to become a film about people, the traditions they inherit, and the steps that we sometimes have to take to keep up with the times.

4 out of 5.

 

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