August 24, 2007
Tom's Recommended Film of the Week
HRM Queen Elizabeth II is the fifth longest reigning monarch of Great Britain and the UK, at present, and one of the more prominent world Royal figures of my lifetime. This stature, coupled with the fact that Helen Mirren won a Best Actress Academy Award for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in The Queen, drove me to watch this film. I must admit, I was none too excited coming in, as Royal films are not particularly my favorites and I am not an aficionado or follower of Royal Family news.
That being said, I do heartily recommend The Queen. Stephen Frears put a fine group together for this film and did a great job of directing their efforts. The disc even offers an audio commentary from Robert Lacey, British historian and Royal expert.
After viewing The Queen one can see that the highly nuanced screenplay by Peter Morgan sets up both compelling and vulnerable figures in Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair. There is no bashing here, no easy one-dimensional figures. All the main characters, with speaking parts, are well developed and imbibed with spirit. Morgan establishes a counter point between commitment to State and responsibility to Family which relates to most all of us in one way or another. This is what drives the film and keeps our interest, and I was pleased to see that Morgan won awards for Best Screenplay from both the Golden Globes and Venice Film Festival in 2006.
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