May 3, 2007

"The Queen"

This has been one of the periodic dead zones of the movie release year, so my new review in The American Conservative is of the DVD release of "The Queen," featuring Helen Mirren's stupendous performance. An excerpt:

Arriving in San Francisco one afternoon in 1983, I saw on the news that Queen Elizabeth II was to dine that evening with President Reagan in Golden Gate Park. So, I climbed into a cab and, feeling like the nursery rhyme pussycat, declared, "I want to look at the Queen!"

"Any queen in particular, buddy?" responded the cabbie. "This town's full of them."

He dropped me on a street corner where hundreds had already assembled, including a dozen Irish demonstrators chanting IRA slogans. Eventually, the longest motorcade I'd ever seen rolled by, and, finally, there in a limousine window was the face on all those postage stamps, bestowing upon us her regal wave, a quarter-turn of her upright cupped hand. We bystanders erupted in cheers, including the IRA supporters, who hopped up and down in joy. Then she was gone, and the Irish protestors slunk off, shame-faced at succumbing to the glamour of the crown.

Yet the Queen's dignity was soon trumped by the rapidly emerging visual grace of her daughter-in-law, the Princess of Wales, a goddess who deigned to appear on the cover of People every month.

That Elizabeth's stiff upper lip response to Diana's 1997 death threatened the very existence of the monarchy is the premise of playwright Peter Morgan's witty and empathetic screenplay for "The Queen," now out on DVD.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

3 comments:

Ron Guhname said...

Mirren was just perfect in this role. When I heard about the movie, I assumed that this was a chance for fashionable moviemakers to discredit the monarchy and to elevate Princess Di to a place even higher than Elvis. But the movie is so respectful to the queen, and even shows how the royal family felt about Diana. Okay, it does make Blair look awfully good, but it is a great film nevertheless.

Notes fron Underground said...

Steve, forget about this rubbish. Have you acted yet upon my hat tip and purchased the BBC production of North & South for your good lady wife?

Anonymous said...

Short review.Saw the movie.Three stars.Good acting,but the subject matter,I couldn't relate to.

A stealthily Royalist movie if there ever was one.The royal family couldn't have asked for a better advertisement for monarchy.