The Queen Reviews

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Super Reviewer
May 16, 2013
While it was good acting, casting, etc, I found the story to be biased in several ways. First of all, the fact that it was set during a very specific time. Less than a year, to be specific. This woman was (and still is, mind you) the Queen during amazing times of the 20th century and *that's* what is highlighted? No offense to Diana, of course, I do she think she was a lovely person. But I felt it was unfair to the Queen to an extent. Yes, these sentiments were expressed some, but everything made her look just *so* antiquated. Since then this woman has also met Lady Gaga. Then again, this is the trouble with making biopics of people, most of which are still alive and in power.
Super Reviewer
½ March 18, 2007
Biopics about people who are still alive and very well known to everyone can be a very tricky thing. This movie is less a biopic than a glimpse at a dire situation in the life of Britain's royals. Shortly after young Tony Blair takes over the government of Great Britain Princess Di dies in Paris and the world expects the Windsors to react. Sadly, they don't. Most people probably did not realize how close the British people were to overthrow their royals due to their lack of reaction at that time. This film tries to explain what went on in Buckingham palace in the days that followed, even if some of the conversations depicted here have to be pure speculation. The script smartly balances between humorous observations and drama and the cast for it is excellent. Helen Mirren is an outstanding Elizabeth and Michael Sheen the perfect choice as Tony Blair. Their scenes together are a pleasure to see. Mirren even manages to turn it all around in the end and show the human being underneath the crown. Very interesting and entertaining.
Super Reviewer
½ October 25, 2009
A well-done, handsomely constructed look at The Royal Family and how they dealt with the death of Princess Diana, all while newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) attempted to steer the queen (Helen Mirren) from a potential disaster that would cast her in a bad light with her people. While it inevitably bogs down at times given director Stephen Frears indisputable methodical pacing to his films, it still remains a largely interesting, phenomenally acted film about the Family behind the scenes, and how the Queen avoided what could have been one of the most negative moments for her and her people by responding in a civil, respectable fashion. Mirren emobides the Queen fully, while Sheen proves to be an ideal fit as Blair. There are a few problems with it (notably James Cromwell as Phillip, the performance is fine, but the character seems shockingly one-note and underwritten), but it doesn't go on to long, and the array of old footage it offers is absolutely arresting.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2012
The sudden death of Princess Di, the worldwide outpouring of public grief, and a vicious intruding media force the British Royal Family to kowtow to public opinion. An ugly affair all ways round told in the hushed tones that is the world of polite society. Good performances, necessary since all those portrayed are still alive and very public figures. Mirren took the Oscar for her portrayal of a soul trained all her life not to react for the life of a nation and then demanded to react by that same nation.
Super Reviewer
July 31, 2009
Incredible performance by Mirren with a great supporting cast and fantastic script. Full review later
Super Reviewer
February 26, 2011
A wonderful and touching film that breaks boundaries of acting. The plot is based on real life events and I think it was really interesting and had a very deep film that can really relate to understand the quueens life. The acting is the best part, and Helen Mirren is doing one of the greatest performances in film history. This movie is amazing and incredible.
Super Reviewer
½ August 6, 2011
The Queen is an intense drama about the aftermath of the passing of Princess Diana, and the reaction of the Royal Family to respond to the event. Due to the divorce to Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth was very unsure how to address the situation. Brilliantly acted and directed, The Queen stars Helen Mirren in the title role and Michael Sheen as Prime Minister Tony Blair. Both actors are incredible on screen and deliver strong performances. The film is an exhilarating drama film and has an incredible cast starring alongside Mirren and Sheen. The Queen recounts the events after Princess Diana's death and the steps it took for the Royal family to avoid a public relations disaster. The Queen is a powerful film that examines the conflict that occurred following Diana's death. This is an incredible film that has stunning performances, and an incredible story on how the British Monarchy dealt with the pressure following Princess Diana's death. This is a well crafted film that will one day be seen as a classic. This is a brilliant film with great performances, one that will stick with you for a while. Helen Mirren is terrific in her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth. The Queen is one of the best Drama films of the last ten years.
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Outstanding performance from Dame Helen Mirren. Exquisite.
Super Reviewer
½ April 24, 2007
Helen Mirren's performance as the title role is a miraculous, that takes us body and sould through the painful ordeal of those seven days surrounding the death of Princess Diana, the people's beautiful princess a natural master in a world of tabloids and self humiliation disguised as humbleness. Mirren gives us more than a glimpse into the hermetic heart of a living queen.
Director Stephen Frears recreates one week in 1997 with intelligent, deft strokes. The presentation of Princess Diana is artfully done in news snippets and archive footage, which brilliantly demonstrates the high impact her being had on people.
As a young and newly elected Tony Blair with big aspirations and an even bigger grin, Michael Sheen is freakishly good as the Prime Minister. His performance shows a likable side of the prime minister in his refusal to side with the public over the denouncement of The Queen for her actions, and his attempts to make The Queen limit the damage that she has made is the basis for a very insightful story.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2011
Stephen Frears' The Queen is a masterpiece. Helen Mirren gives an astounding, pin-point perfect performance as The Queen. With it's impeccable script, it's a moving, humorous, compassionate and human film.
Super Reviewer
January 6, 2011
The Queen has that dillemma in go with the tradition or changing into the way of modernity. She has been very loyal to the royal family. However, the public wants something different from her. The story revolves around the period of Diana's death to the funeral. It is a movie about courage. Helen Mirren is very oscar-worthy for her role as the Queen. She is somehow very magical in this movie and make us want to know more. Michael Sheen shines as Tony Blair. He save the queen's credibility.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2010
Good biographical portrait? Yes. Accurate to the facts? Yes. Helen Mirren believable? Yes. Good acting? Yes. Well-made? Yes.

Except I don't give an eff about that crap cuz it was boring
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2009
Interesting, dramatic, and heart wrenching. Mirren delivers as we watch the Queen for the first time battle more than she can handle and understand.
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2009
The film is focused entirely on the period of Princess Diana's death and the period upto the funeral a week later. In common with most people from the UK that is something that is very much etched in the memory, so the film does very little in terms of information. I can certainly vouch for it's accuracy although the reaction does seem a little over the top in retrospect.

Mirren puts in a fine performance as the Queen and you certainly couldn't quibble about the Oscar recognition. Although the historical content is very accurate it is impossible to comment on the accuracy of the royal characters. The film seems to adopt the stereotypical representation of the royals and it is quite possible this is correct. The royals are so detached though that it is hard to say this for sure.

The film is really about whether the monarchy can survive even though they aren't aware they are under such close scrutiny. I found the film quite entertaining and it's really a docu drama. You can also see little indications that it was originally meant to be a TV film. It will not change your life, but it's reasonably entertaining.
Super Reviewer
October 1, 2009
Once you get your head round the fact that this is not a comedy, you realise it?s a brutally honest portrayal of the turn of events that week in 1997. The acting was top notch! I do wonder if the whole thing with the stag happened though, where did that come from? Hilarious!
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2009
This is a story About the relationship between the Queen of England and Tony Blair after the death of Princess Diana. Instead of the saying God Save The Queen, it should be Tony Saved the Queen, that is if this is a true story. The actor who played Tony Blair was outstanding alone with Helen Mirren who played the queen. In the beginning you hate her and near the end you feel sorry for her. And the ending was right, the queen said someday the public would turn on Tony Blair and they did. 3 1/2 stars I have seem to fall into a 3 1/2 star rut.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2009
What is it with Michael Sheen? I had no idea who this man was two months ago, and now I've seen him play the foil to two of the stiffest upper lips of our time: Richard Nixon (Frank Langella, in Frost/Nixon) and here, Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren). In both cases, he has been outstanding, and his spot-on Tony Blair rivals Mirren's Oscar-winning portrayal.

The Queen certainly has its flaws, one of them being a dreadfully cast Prince Charles, but it is nevertheless an engrossing and well-imagined film that stands as a filmic equivalent to the historical novel: sure, not everything might have happened this way, but it certainly could have...

The film presents a plausible history with some basis in fact, and its agenda seems to be to simultaneously question and affirm the place of the Royal Family in contemporary Britain.

This film could have just as easily been called "Queen of Hearts" or "Diana and Charles", as it is to a large extent a love letter to Diana; to tell one of the defining stories of the 90s by focusing on the Queen, however, casts a story we all know in a very different light.

By times The Queen verges on satire, and in other places it's a loyal period piece, but in the end I think that this film will stand the test of time - even if reviews remain mixed - because when watched actively and not passively, you can make as much or as little of it as you like.

Love it or hate it, The Queen does capture the zeitgeist, depicting but not resolving the conflict in the hearts and minds of Brits and Commonwealth citizens (including Canadians like myself) about just what role the figurehead has to play in our times, and how s/he can successfully do so - and for this, I do recommend it.
Super Reviewer
June 24, 2007
A strong film about courage and loyalty.
Super Reviewer
½ January 12, 2009
"Tradition Prepared Her. Change Will Define Her."

The British prime minister and the Royal Family find themselves quietly at odds in the wake of a national tragedy in this drama from director Stephen Frears. On August 31, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in an auto accident in Paris; despite the controversial breakup of her marriage to Prince Charles, she was still one of the most famous and best-loved women in the world, and the public outpouring of emotion over her passing was immediate and intense. However, given the messy circumstances of Diana's breakup with Charles, official spokespeople for the Royal Family were uncertain about how to publicly address her passing. It didn't take long for the media to pick up on the hesitation of Buckingham Palace to pay homage to Diana, and many saw this as a sign of the cool emotional distance so often attributed to the royals, which in this case was widely seen as an insult against Diana and the many people who loved her. Prime Minister Tony Blair (played by Michael Sheen) saw a potential public-relations disaster in the making, and took it upon himself to persuade Queen Elizabeth II (played by Helen Mirren) to make a statement in tribute to the fallen Diana -- an action that went against the taciturn queen's usual nature.

In terms of performance, I believe that almost all the actors in this film did a magnificent job at giving cinematic life to their characters. Of course, having won the Oscar for best performance, Helen Mirren achieved a level of incomprehensible connection with a woman that seems almost untouchable. The most enjoyable moments I had while watching the film were her interactions with animals, not humans, because there appears to be a different kind of appreciation and delight that she gains from them. One performance that is not particularly noticed in reviews of the film is that of James Cromwell, an American actor who portrays the Duke of Edinbrugh in the film. He adds to the film a sense of hard British upper class high-mindedness and simultaneously there is a comical feel to his presence that eases the film away from being too solemn.

As a whole, the film is very well done, but it is easier to appreciate if the viewer had some sense of what had happened and the history behind the situation. Otherwise it would not have the same impact on those who are watching it. This gives us a chance to see why the Queen may or may not have made particular decisions, rather than simply remembering that she was not as outgoing with the situation as many would have preferred. I would recommend this film to just about any person, though as I said, it would be better appreciated by those who have some knowledge about the monarchy.
Super Reviewer
½ May 11, 2007
Does anyone know what the source material was for this film? If the source is accurate, that Royal Family is even nuttier than I imagined. If it's it's not accurate, those people have a case for a lawsuit, because this film made Queen Liz and her brood look REALLY bad. Not only that but I was unaware that they hated Diana quite so much. I knew they were embarrassed and angry with her, but the idea that they refused to even acknowledge her death in any royal way was shocking. It's not like Charles was totally innocent in that whole thing (this means you, Camilla). And even if Diana wasn't blood-related to the Windsors, her children are. But I digress. This film is supposedly the story of the week after the death of Princess Diana, the Royal Family's (non)reaction to same, and how the media and the British subjects' response forced the family's hand. Helen Mirren, wonderful as always as Queen Elizabeth, won an Oscar for her dead-on portrayal. James Cromwell is suitably stiff and royal as Prince Phillip. Michael Sheen (am I the only one who thinks this guy looks just like Rik Mayall?) does a good job in portraying the newly-elected PM Tony Blair, who isn't even comfortable in the job yet when this tragedy occurs. The film, with such good performances and sets, seemed real to begin with, and helping things along was the liberal use of authentic film footage, blended almost seamlessly into fictional parts. Enjoyable and eye-opening. Does Phillip really call Elizabeth "Cabbage"?
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