Movie Review: Helen Mirren commands stately ‘The Queen’

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Helen Mirren has been showered with praise for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II, and deservedly so – in a masterful performance, she injects humanity into this larger-than-life figure with an extremely limited amount of room to act; as in reality, The Queen remains mostly emotionless to us – but here we learn why.

Almost as impressive is Michael Sheen´s caricature of Tony Blair – his winning portrayal of the Prime Minister makes for an unlikely hero, a gentle voice of reason against the old establishment.

Story focuses on the death of Diana and the politics of ‘handling´ the aftermath; as Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Establishment contend with the media, public opinion begins to sway.

How Mirren´s Queen deals with this, and her relationship with ‘the people´, form the heart of this film. A lesser performance and the whole thing could topple over; here, we actually care about the Queen of England.

Director Frears is in top form with a fine cast; the material is light but ultimately memorable.

The Queen

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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