The Queen

Queen of a nation. Queen of hearts.
Queen of a nation. Queen of hearts.
D: Stephen Frears
Pathé (Andy Harries, Christine Langan & Tracey Seaward)
UK/US/France/Italy 2006
102 mins


W: Peter Morgan
DP: Alfonso Beato
Ed: Lucia Zucchetti
Mus: Alexandre Desplat
PD: Alan MacDonald
Cos: Consolata Boyle

Helen Mirren (Queen Elizabeth II), Michael Sheen (Tony Blair), James Cromwell (Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh), Helen McCrory (Cherie Blair), Alex Jennings (Prince Charles), Roger Allam (Robin Janvrin), Sylvia Syms (The Queen Mother)

Helen Mirren delivers such a convincing performance as Queen Elizabeth II, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the actress as the head of the British royal family.
Set over the weeks following the death of Princess Diana, when the public's perception of the royal family was on the decline due to a lack of any acknowledgement from her majesty, who favoured dignified solitude rather than public bereavement, as well as a change in British government and a new prime minister with an anti-royalist stance, who later develops a professional relationship with the queen and convinces her to face the people.
The film steers clear of politics, instead balancing light comedy with the tender drama, which in turn gives the queen a great deal of credibility following her strange behavior around a time of huge public emotion. It's also incredibly complimentary with its depiction of then Prime Minister Tony Blair (though wife Cherie comes across as particularly unpleasant).
The film did very well on both sides of the Atlantic, though it would be fair to say that it would be appreciated more by those of British heritage, those who remember 1997 well and pro-royalists.

Helen Mirren in The Queen
Helen Mirren in The Queen