DVD Reviews | Apr 21st, 2007
Starring Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings
Written By: Peter Morgan
Directed By: Stephen Frears
Buy on Amazon.com link
I didn’t really know much about this film until Helen Mirren won the Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth II. After seeing the movie, I have to say i’m glad I did because I liked it a lot. Everyone remembers the day Princess Diana died in a car accident but there was a lot of behind the scenes stuff that many didn’t know about. The Queen focuses on that and shows you what it was like the Royal Family, along with the rest of England.
The Queen takes places in 1997, where young Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) has just been sworn into office recently, and the Royals go about their business as usual. You see old archive footage of Princess Diana getting chased around by the asshole paparazzi, and then one night something tragic happens. Princess Diana was getting chased by Paparazzi in Paris, and when they went into one the tunnels; she got into a bad car accident. She ended up passing away in the hospital and the world was soon in mourning. The Royal Family were stubbornly keeping quiet on the issue, and England & Tony Blair were waiting to hear Queen Elizabeth II and the royal Family publicly eulogy for Prince Charles’ ex-wife. Prince Philip thought it would be best to escape up to their Scottish estate and go hunting with Diana’s sons. After many phone calls to the Queen, Blair insists that they should go public or England might pass something to abolish the monarchy. The Queen, Prince Philip, and the rest of the Royal Family figure they might as well show their faces to the public or they will lose everything. They all soon realize how much the England despised them for getting quiet for so long, and they see it on all the faces and pictures that were left in London. They see pictures laying on the ground saying “They don’t deserve you” and things like that. If I saw that, I’d be mad at myself for acting that way.
Like I said before, I didn’t know what to expect from this film. I just happened to watch it since it was sent for review and I’m always interested in movies after they get recognized with some awards. Helen Mirren’s performance as the Queen is great but I also think the acting of Michael Sheen as Tony Blair was good as well. Is it just me or does Tony Blair live in a shithole place for being a Prime Minister? The interaction between Sheen and Mirren was great because you can sense the tenseness and rivalry between the Prime Minister and the Royal Family. I liked how the film intertwined the old footage of Diana with film; usually stuff like that doesn’t work and this time it does. For not really knowing a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, you really get the jest of what went on during this time period. Is Prince Philip really that cranky?
The Queen has great performances from Helen Mirren & Michael Sheen, and has an interesting storyline since it’s based on real life. I’m not sure if this stuff in the movie happened exactly this way but i’m sure it’s loosely based on what happened. Either way it makes for a good movie! If you get the DVD, be sure to watch the making of featurette which is almost a half hour, and plus there’s 2 audio commentary tracks as well.
-Commentary by: Director Stephen Frears & writer Peter Morgan
-British historian & royal expert Robert Lacey, author of Majesty
-The making of The Queen
English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Favorite Scenes: Didn’t really have a favorite scene but I liked at the end when the Queen went to Kensington Gardens (or was it Buckingham Palace?) to see all the flowers left for Princess Diana.
Running Time: 103 minutes