The Queen's Sister - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Queen's Sister Reviews

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johnattridge
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2009
Television Film
Channel4, November 2005
October 19, 2012
Interesting peak into the life of Margaret.
johnattridge
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2009
Television Film
Channel4, November 2005
February 18, 2009
Labeled "tawdry" with good reason. Cohu manages the complexity of her character with incredible faculty, her portrayal of Margaret's vulgarity and vulnerability at once stirring revulsion and pity in the audience.
December 21, 2008
I was forced to watch this through no choice of my own, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been. The film offers a largely sympathetic portrayal of Princess Margaret and succeeds in doing so for two reasons: firstly, Lucy Cohu plays an excellent part as Margaret the trashy, hedonistic glamour queen who is seen as the "black sheep" of the Royal Family; and secondly (and more crucially) because the film isn't factual and nor does it pretend to be, prefaced as it is with the following statement: "Some of the following is based on fact. And some isn't." What we get then is a fantastically heightened version of reality (i.e. cloud cuckooland) which is clearly tongue-in-cheek and self-consciously ironic. Having said that, it's still stomach-churning, even if it is laughable. In one scene, Margaret drags her forbidden lover reluctantly to a pub in the East End of London where, despite being undercover, they are identified by a working class punter who is less than complimentary about their lofty status. Margaret responds by wrestling the aforementioned punter in a headlock and declaring: "You shall not insult the House of Windsor!" to which the pub's entire (working class) clientele responds by cheering and applauding. Incredible. Elsewhere, Labour MP Willie Hamilton pops up every now and again as the pantomime villain who objects to money being spent on Royal holidays and mansions while his constituents barely make ends meet. (In reality Hamilton was a fairly right-wing Labour politician who really was motivated by nothing more than bitterness and resentment, probably.) To conclude, the only good thing about the film politically is that it exposes how Margaret was the victim of her own privelage. The point is that it's not about blaming individuals (the King, the Queen, the Princess etc) like Willie Hamilton did, but to blame the historical institutional and political processes which give them their privelage in the first place, as Tony Benn rightly points out. In a country which claims to have democratic ideals, there can be no justification whatsoever for the existence of a monarchy based on the hereditary principle. The fact that the Royal Family maintains a certain level of popularity and inspires films like this must be one of the spectacular achievements of centuries of ruling class propaganda.
December 13, 2008
no thanks not my thing
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