Not quite a tiara

The Queen movie review

In general, movies about British royals don’t attract me but the approaching Academy Awards and the consensus among my mom’s girlfriends(all queens in their own right) made it hard to resist. The Queen is the perfect chilly Sunday afternoon with my mom. It is a woman’s film(ironically directed by a man) about a woman who often is allowed to be just that.

Helen Mirren shines as Elizabeth II, the thick-ankled, dowdy, no-nonsense matriarch of the messy British royal family. We follow her during one terrible week after the sudden loss of her ex-daughter-in-law Diana. She has to contend with pre-Bush-crony Prime Minister Tony Blair(played with a car salesman grin by Michael Sheen), grumpy Prince Philip(one of my favorite character actors, James Cromwell), a weepy Prince Charles, and an increasingly hostile press. Mirren takes us into Elizabeth’s troubled heart, a woman who wants to protect her grandsons from the viciousness of the spotlight, who fears she is no longer relevant to the people she has served since her teens, and who treasures quiet moments in nature and privacy over the showiness of celebrity and media savvy. In spite of her stoic stuffiness, Mirren makes the Queen human and therefore sympathetic.

The Queen is still playing in theaters

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