Helen Mirren kicks it royal style in this acclaimed drama about the most misunderstood HRH of all.
What with Helen Mirren's (The Clearing, Calendar Girls) Oscar nomination and subsequent win, 2006's The Queen got a lot more buzz than one would imagine a movie about an out-of-touch rich old woman with terrible hair and horse teeth would normally garner.
The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dangerous Liaisons), is about the British royals' troubled reaction to Princess Diana's death in 1997. Written by Peter Morgan, the story isn't quite as good as his other flawed-royalty movie - The Last King of Scotland - but it's interesting, funny, and insightful.
Michael Sheen (Blood Diamond, Laws of Attraction) is a dead ringer for Tony Blair (back when we liked Tony Blair). And well, let's just say it is no surprise that Mirren won virtually every award there was for her performance of Queen Elizabeth II. If a sexy silver fox like Mirren can dowdy herself up that perfectly, she should be able to take home all the awards she can hide in those blue-gray rolls of QE2 curls she wore.
I think some of the coolest parts of the movie is the insight (whether real or imagined) into Elizabeth's personal life. Obviously, what with QE2 being a queen and all, there is a lot that is kept private - even despite the cut-throat nature of the British tabloid press. You don't have to be an anglophile or a history buff to appreciate the shock value of such a personal depiction of her daily life - sleeping in bed, driving at her country estate, playing with her dogs, etc. But I suspect that if you are, The Queen will knock your socks off.
What's on the Disc:
Like QE2 herself, The Queen has an elite and tasteful selection of extras.
The Making of The Queen behind the scenes featurette and Audio Commentary by Director Stephen Frears and Writer Peter Morgan are de rigeur - not amazing, not horrid.
Better to go straight to the Audio Commentary by British Historian and Royal Expert Robert Lacey, Author of "Majesty" because it gives you insight into the cool, real-life history that motivated the movie.