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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Queen

Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, which recounts the royal family’s reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash. Mirren, nominated for best actress in the Academy Awards, portrays the Queen’s reluctancy to show emotion following the death.  Photo courtesy Miramax
Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, which recounts the royal family’s reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash. Mirren, nominated for best actress in the Academy Awards, portrays the Queen’s reluctancy to show emotion following the death. Photo courtesy Miramax

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, which recounts the royal family’s reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash. Mirren, nominated for best actress in the Academy Awards, portrays the Queen’s reluctancy to show emotion following the death.  Photo courtesy Miramax
Helen Mirren stars as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, which recounts the royal family’s reaction to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car crash. Mirren, nominated for best actress in the Academy Awards, portrays the Queen’s reluctancy to show emotion following the death. Photo courtesy Miramax

Helen Mirren’s mirror image of Queen Elizabeth II walks down the hall and stops at a cracked door.

From outside, she watches her son, Prince Charles (Alex Jennings), tell his two sons, the second and third apparent heirs to the throne, their mother has just died.

The queen’s face has a hint of sadness for the first time that dreadful night, a soft spot in her regal, royal form.
But as Charles looks up with sorrow in his eyes, the queen snaps back to her former self and walks off.

This scene beautifully shows the emotion of the queen, a proud woman with a country on her shoulders.

The world is stunned when Diana, Princess of Wales, “the people’s princess,” dies in a car crash in Paris.

The royalty’s lack of response to Lady Di’s death brings turmoil to the United Kingdom, and the newly elected Prime Minster Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) has to handle the situation.

The royal family and the public butt heads over ever aspect of dealing with the somber event, from funeral arrangements to whether the flag over Buckingham should fly half-staff.

Stephen Fears’ The Queen is a beautifully crafted film dealing with one of the most traumatic celebrity deaths in recent years.

The movie weaves actual footage of various occasions during that week with a strong retelling from the queen’s view. Fears, with such films as Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity and Mrs. Henderson Presents under his belt, masterfully portrays the complexity of the demanding situation at hand with Dame Mirren (Calender Girls, Gosford Park) in the driving seat.

Mirren is the queen. That is plain and simple. She nails the mannerisms, speech and regal form and transforms flawlessly into Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

According to www.imdb.com, Mirren’s performance got a five-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, something she rightfully deserved. Along with that, she won the Golden Globe and SAG for best actress and is my choice for the Oscar in the same category.

Sheen was a strong choice for Tony Blair. He executes the role with a certain ease and gives a good contrast to Mirren’s Elizabeth II. The audience can feel the almost comedic tension between the two.

The rest of the supporting cast provides a strong foundation even though James Cromwell’s (The Green Mile) Prince Phillip is a little too whiny for his own good.

My only problem with the movie is its too bluntly symbolic tone in a few scenes. The whole deer thing just didn’t do it for me, but I did like the movie’s mention of Queen Elizabeth II’s World War II military service. I have always thought that is one of the Queen’s most impressive attributes.

The Queen deserves to win the six Oscars nominations (including best picture, best actress, best director), and the movie deserves four and a half out of five stars.

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