Sunday, June 12, 2011

Movie Moments: #56

The Queen (2006)

Helen Mirren deservedly won the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the movie The Queen.  It lost the Best Pic gong to The Departed but imho should have won that award as well.  A superbly acted, behind the scenes look at the Royal Family and its failure to modernise in accordance with the times and the people.

The tagline for the movie was “Tradition prepared her.  Change will define her.”  The film looks at the differing reactions to the death of Lady Diana in 1997.  The Royal Family follows aloof tradition, seen by a grieving public as cold indifference.  Prime Minister Tony Blair acts as a link between the two and tries to convince the Monarchy of its need to change tradition and respond.

Alastair Campbell:: They, er, sent a copy of the Queen's speech. Might want to scrape the frost off it first...  Oh, I phoned them with a couple of suggestions, to make it sound like it came from a human being.
Toney Blair:  Yeah, all right, Alastair.
Alastair Campbell: Well, at least the old bat's finally agreed to visit Diana's coffin.
Tony Blair: You know, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong! That woman has given her whole life in service to her people. Fifty years doing a job SHE never wanted! A job she watched kill her father. She's executed it with honor, dignity, and, as far as I can tell, without a single blemish, and now we're all baying for her blood! All because she's struggling to lead the world in mourning for someone who... who threw everything she offered back in her face. And who, for the last few years, seemed committed 24/7 to destroying everything she holds most dear!

  • The film shows Alastair Campbell coining the term 'the People's Princess', when in reality it was Tony Blair who came up with it.
  • The writer Peter Morgan says that Helen Mirren’s portrayal of the Queen was so convincing that, by the end of production, crew members who had been accustomed to slouching or relaxing when they addressed her, were standing straight up and respectfully folding their hands behind their backs.

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