Slowly making my way through the 2007 Oscar candidates [and winners], as you can see.
So. The Queen. I should confess, straightaway, that my initial reaction to this movie, when I heard it was coming out, while it was in theaters, when people I knew were going to see it, when Helen Mirren won the Oscar: YAWN. And don’t get me wrong — Anglophile I am! But, the house of Windsor (or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to be fully accurate, or even those Hanoverians) hasn’t really been doing it for me, I will admit. I like me some Henry (2, 5, 8, whatever), or some Richard Lionheart, or maybe even the Charleses; I guess I am more familiar with historical figures, typical for me. Modern day politics, sadly, not my thing.
Anyway, back to the movie. I suspect a lot of this film’s impact on me may have had to do with my sad, cardboard cutout ideas of the current royals. I thought all the performances were quite good, particularly (of course) Helen Mirren’s (what a physical transformation, not just the hair and that, but her walk, etc) Michael Sheen’s Tony Blair, Alex Jennings as Prince Charles – anyone who can make me feel for Charles is doing something. I thought Frears’s handling of Diana’s accident was well done, nice use of ‘footage’, etc. I also thought (as they pointed out themselves in the DVD extra) that the counterpoint of London/Balmoral, Elizabeth/Blair was nicely done.
The only characters technically there but totally absent were Wills and Harry, to be expected I suppose.
I was reminded of Mrs. Brown — gee I wonder why: Balmoral, a stoic Queen, aftermath of tragedy — but really, I think it was because it’s so interesting to see someone portray the monarch in both personal and official contexts. The stag was a bit obvious, I thought, but …
Rating: one upper lip, quite stiff, as opposed to very stiff, stiff, sagging, or drooping
So, yes, I liked it. This is a pretty lame review, sorry. Anyone else have deeper thoughts on this?