Okay, I promised a review of “The Queen,” my first movie of a recent two-movies-about-British-people-in-one-day cinema experience.
Let me say right off the bat that I am a bit of a Diana-phile. Call me a sap, but I read all the books and magazine articles routinely still published about her more than a decade after her death. Who can’t relate to “The People’s Princess” – a name whose origins, by the way, is revealed on the screen here (credit Tony Blair’s speechwriter). To me, Diana was a real girl with real foibles and failings thrust into a really dysfunctional family.
All the “action” (if you can call it that, this movie being the antithesis of "Casino Royale,” my second film of that day) takes place during that short period of time from right before Diana’s death to her funeral, and sheds light onto The Queen’s reaction (or lack thereof) to the country’s resulting outpouring of grief. All I can say is, if you think you have mother-in-law problems, they probably pale in comparison to Diana’s. And I’m pretty sure your M-i-L doesn’t carry her pocketbook around in her own living room, either.
The inside scoop, the actual footage of the stunning Diana, the breathtaking scenery and interiors, and the superb acting of Helen Mirren (sorry, Annette Benning; Mirren’s performance has Oscar-winner written all over it, plus this movie isn’t weird like "Running With Scissors") make this a must see.
And as an added bonus, check out the portrayal of Tony Blair as modern hubby with a working wife. So what if he’s the Prime Minister? You see him taking his own dishes into the kitchen and then washing them up. What a guy. My recommendation? Leave your significant other at home, but be sure to fast-forward to the kitchen scenes for him when it comes out on DVD.