May 28, 2007


The Queen

No, not me (I can hear my sisters snickering and yelling 'diva!'). The movie. I finally saw it on the weekend. I knew I would like it, because I'm a Helen Mirren junkie. What I wasn't prepared for was the effect it had on me.

The film basically covers the royal (non)reaction when Diana died. I'll be honest - I thought Diana was a shallow media-tweaking twerp. I never bought the poor-little-sheltered-girl garbage. She wanted a prince, and she got one. The fact he looked like a Wallace & Grommit character was secondary. So, while I believed she truly loved her sons, I think the rest of Diana's life was spent best serving Diana.

I've also regarded the Queen with one raised eyebrow. I'm not sure if it's the goofy little purse, the nasty little dogs or the famed distance from her own screwed up kids, but she just doesn't scream 'warm and fuzzy'. As for being the head of a monarchy, well, it looks boring, and I totally get why they like to shoot things, but other than that, it's a pretty cushy life.

So why did I find myself all teary throughout most of this film? I don't get it. I'm not supposed to give a damn about any of these people - and yet, I did. Brilliant script, brilliant performances and thank gawd no Di impersonators. My mother was British, and of the same age as the Queen. She understood better than I that whole stiff-upper-lip stuff, and was steeped (tea joke) in the role of the monarchy in England. I think that's why the film works so well - Mirren gets it.

Mirren apparently turned down an offer by Queen Elizabeth to meet and gab about the film - apparently, with a schedule booked for the next three years, you don't turn down such an offer. Mirren was out of the country, and said 'thanks anyway, can't make it, Liz'. Well, no she wasn't snotty about it, though of course the papers tried to make it look that way.

It was nice to watch a film that lifts the curtain on something we rarely get to see, and doesn't demean its subjects (royal joke) as it does so.

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