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The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:10 pm
by justindeimen
Courtesy of MovieXclusive.com

Review:

Stephen Frearss The Queen harkens back to the not so distant past when Britains politics were in the midst of a paradigm shift as a new Prime Minister was elected in a landslide victory, and back when Tony Blair was still liked by the British people to the extent of preferring him to the monarchy. But it primarily concerns itself with events of August 31, 1997 when the world stood still in front of news outlets with shock and disbelief as information poured through with the details of Princess Dianas passing.

Theres an extremely humanistic centre in the films regal and exact conduct thats hard to ignore. This is especially true when the simmering mannerisms in its enclosed scenes threaten to create a void between the performers and audience. Fortunately, as many critics and opinion-makers have voiced, it is ultimately the cast that transcends the material and propels it to heights of emotional depth and compelling storytelling. Frears gently weaves in droll British cynicism with slices of historical footages in retelling the hours before and the weeks after Princess Dianas death. It has too much specious conjecture to be a docudrama but curiously enough, has too much political gravitas not to be. Theres a sense of a spell being cast on the audience when layers upon layers of enchantingly guile verisimilitude are strewn across the screen in its dialogue and conflicts, when personal conversations in corridors offer supposed insights into closely guarded relationships.

In a film whose crowning character keeps her nose in the air throughout with a dry wit and penetrating intelligence that comes from decades of political machination and staunch devotion to tradition, you begin to wonder what is going through Mirrens mind as she embodies the ruddy Queens heart and soul. She lays the heavy crown on her head while the film itself manages to show compassion towards the tough monarch, with Mirrens technical poise and confidence in her self-restraint performance leading the way for an almost definite blitz on every Lead Actress award shes a possible candidate for.

If anything, Mirrens Queen Elizabeth II is an anachronistic casualty. So is the family who has her ear in the Queen Mother (Sylvia Syms) and Prince Phillip (James Cromwell). They regard revolution and modernisation as nothing but dirty words uttered by those that dont really know any better. Our sympathies lie with the reigning Queen as shes torn between her pride and exerting her authority, exacerbating the widening disconnect between the monarchy and the new Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) government that unduly becomes a power struggle refereed by the press. With precisely crafted characters and the insights that come with it, the Queen is shown to be quietly disdainful of the populist views and the vantage that democracy has. She corrals herself in Balmoral Castle and the palace as she faces certain disparagement from the electorate. Also spurred on by the selfishly spurious and PR-savvy Prince Charles (Alex Jennings), Tony Blair desperately asks in his office at 10 Downing Street, Will someone save these people from themselves?

It is cheeky in highlighting Blairs formerly uphill status as the man with the main line into the peoples hearts and minds. In a telling and superlative scene, the film prophetically makes known how little has changed in the political landscape aside from its scapegoats.

Now when will we have a film about that delightful Prince Phillip?

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:58 pm
by wpqx
Well I seem to be one of the few people who don't think this film is a masterpiece, or even very good. Its decent and no different from any other number of year end "give me an Oscar" films. I am partially blame cultural issues, as I feel that this film would be much truer to the British man's heart, but I felt nothing. I'm not even particularly impressed with Mirren's universally acclaimed performance, yet the best actress cries are deafening.

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 1:54 am
by trevor826
I think the majority of the British audience for The Queen would be made up of women in their sixties, I don't know anyone who'll admit to seeing it and the film had quite a short run here.

As far as a lot of people are concerned, the Royal family are an expensive, high maintainance tourist attraction and that's it.

Cheers Trev.

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:14 am
by madhuban
As far as a lot of people are concerned, the Royal family are an expensive, high maintainance tourist attraction and that's it.

They help fill up pages for the tabloids. And, Harry's (or is it William?) exploits in the army seem to provide the Indian press with publishable news!

M

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:07 am
by justindeimen
I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't full of itself or even took itself gravely.

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:20 pm
by A
Personally I am not at all interested in the topic or the film, and the few scenes I`ve seen from it encoureged me to stay away from it. The only thing that could prompt me to watch it is the fact that it`s directed by Stephen Frears, though that doesn`t mean much nowadays.

I like Hellen Mirren very much, but there arent any actors on earth who can make me watch a film just because of them, and especially not when they are giving "oscar-worthy" performances.

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:20 am
by hengcs
Hey, I have watched the film ...

(1) although the movie may not be totally engaging ... i still think partial credits have to be given to the scriptwriter ... cos it is not a simple script to write ... given that many of the characters are still alive ... and the royal family as well as politics are involved ... and they have to tread cautiously between tragedy/humor ... and they try not to side too much with any side (is that ever possible?!) ... nearer the end of the film, i think there is a more conscientious effort to feel for the Royal family ...

anyway, i thought there are a few great scenes ... and a few rather contrived/coerced scene ...

some great scenes

* minor spoiler *

-- when The Queen offered to place the bouquet of flowers on behalf of the small girl (for Princess Diana at the gate), but guess what the small girl bluntly declined, and for a moment, the audience feel how The Queen maybe felt (the whole world now "hates" her), but guess what ... the small girl suddenly uttered ... it is for you (The Queen) ... wow ...

-- did you catch this ... there was one line (by The Queen) that hints at Tony Blair's recent drop in fate/popularity ... despite his popularity then ... hmmm ...

etc

* end of spoiler *

(2) With regards to the acting, I have to say that Helen Mirren is very controlled ... at least better than last year's Oscar node * nothing personal * to Reese Witherspoon ... so, in a way, I still think maybe she deserves it ...


Overall, can watch ... above average ...

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 am
by hengcs
ha ha ...
i was right abt the script ...
congrats to Golden Globe win ...
same to the actress ...

Re: The Queen (2006)

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:34 am
by wpqx
bah humbug