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  #101  
Old 10-29-2006, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for explaining azile. I agree with you for the most part and I would recommend the movie.

Though I'm not convinced that 'forcing' compassion on someone when it concerns the death of a family member is necessarily a step forward and I'm not sure the movie's creator was convinced of that either.

Interestingly enough, the respected movie critic, Roger Ebert expressed some of the same sentiments in his latest review of the movie. I think he is very cynical of the celebrity culture that played a part in the events and in many ways I share his views. I don't share his views that Mirren's performance is masterful but I'm willing to see it again to re-consider.

Because of copyright restrictions this is less than 20% of the article but the full review on his site is definitely worth a read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerebert.com
"The Queen" comes down to the story of two strong women loyal to the doctrines of their beliefs about the monarchy, and a man who is much more pragmatic. The queen is correct, technically, in not lowering the flag to half-mast -- it is not a national flag, but her own, flown only when she is in residence. But Blair is correct that the flag has become a lightning rod for public opinion. The queen is correct, indeed, by tradition and history in all she says about the affair -- but she is sadly aloof from the national mood. Well, maybe queens should be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerebert.com

The screenplay is intense, focused, literate, observant. The dynamic between Elizabeth and Philip (James Cromwell), for example, is almost entirely defined by decades of what has not been said between them -- and what need not be said. There are extraordinary, tantalizing glimpses of the "real" Elizabeth driving her own Range Rover, leading her dogs, trekking her lands at Balmoral -- the kind of woman, indeed, who seems more like Camilla Parker-Bowles than Diana.
Mirren is the key to it all in a performance sure to be nominated for an Oscar. She finds a way, even in a "behind the scenes" docudrama, to suggest that part of her character will always be behind the scenes. What a masterful performance, built on suggestion, implication and understatement. Her queen in the end authorizes the inevitable state funeral, but it is a tribute to Mirren that we have lingering doubts about whether, objectively, it was the right thing. Technically, the queen was right to consider the divorced Diana no longer deserving (by her own choice) of a royal funeral. But in terms of modern celebrity worship, Elizabeth was wrong. This may or may not represent progress.
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  #102  
Old 10-29-2006, 08:49 PM
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Well, that's an interesting review. Just goes to show that in some cases there's no really clear-cut "right" or "wrong."
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  #103  
Old 10-30-2006, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azile
the charcter of Prince Charles blurts out to his private secretary that his mother doesn't understand the "two Dianas" (one seen by the public and one, completely unrelated, seen inside their family) He argues that the Queen has to realize that the country is mourning the public Diana (wonderful mother, tireless humanitarian, iconic beauty) and to understand the public grief, they need to mourn this SAME Diana- not the insecure, difficult and volatile Diana they knew privately within their family. He verbalises his belief that there are two identities within a royal life- public and private. The Queen's stance is that the two are the same- the reserved and regal person she is in public is, for the most part, the person she is in private and her private reaction to the whole situation is how she feels she must react publicly.
While this is surely one of the central messages of the drama I cannot help to feel that we will never really know if this was the reason for the way the RF behaved during these days.

Making such a film with such a topic requires from the scriptwriter and the art director that they have a position, an explanation which allows the whole story to make sense. Alas, when it comes to the individual's reaction to such a traumatic occurance, you cannot know what really went on within these persons as long as they don't talk about it or their diaries and memoirs are published. Even then you don't know if you are listening to the truth.

So, yes, maybe it was that way, maybe not. I decided not to watch this movie.
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  #104  
Old 10-30-2006, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
While this is surely one of the central messages of the drama I cannot help to feel that we will never really know if this was the reason for the way the RF behaved during these days.

Making such a film with such a topic requires from the scriptwriter and the art director that they have a position, an explanation which allows the whole story to make sense. Alas, when it comes to the individual's reaction to such a traumatic occurance, you cannot know what really went on within these persons as long as they don't talk about it or their diaries and memoirs are published. Even then you don't know if you are listening to the truth.

So, yes, maybe it was that way, maybe not. I decided not to watch this movie.
But isn't some level of speculation the basis of all historical drama? Its almost impossible to know exactly what people were thinking at the time even if they do cooperate with filmmakers and I think the Queen was never going to do that, but if directors only went by what they knew for sure, I think we wouldn't have such stellar historical dramas such as Henry V and Patton.

I'm not putting The Queen at the level of Henry V, but as a historical drama of this type, I think it is very good indeed. I am a bit uneasy at the movie portraying people who are still living because movies like that tend to cater to the celebrity culture and lack depth and intelligence (ie., the early movies about Charles and Diana right after they were married).

However, I find this not to be the case with this movie; it is an unusually well thought out film. It's true we can't know for sure that the royal family reacted differently because they saw a different side of Diana, but I find it to be a very plausible explanation of what COULD have happened and the film treats it very intelligently and interestingly which is all I really expect of a historical drama.
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  #105  
Old 10-30-2006, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysbel
But isn't some level of speculation the basis of all historical drama?
Yes, it is but, when you are dealing with still living people, it can be a very dangerous thing.

Already people are talking as if this movie was factual, citing the un-named, close friend, royal source, etc, etc.
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  #106  
Old 10-30-2006, 10:27 AM
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i saw the movie yesterday and i did not like it that much , i was expecting more...helen Mirren is really a good actress , i really enjoyed her playing the queen ...i just wanted to know is prince philip really hated Diana ( because that`s what i felt ) ...
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  #107  
Old 10-30-2006, 10:28 AM
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I agree, skydragon. As a lover of fiction and documentary, I'm always surprised (and a little bit taken aback) when people take a work of fiction as absolute fact.

The point you make about making drama from the lives of living people also holds true. It can be dangerous; I think though for me, those concerns were allayed quite a bit by the intelligent and sensitive handling in this particular movie.

I would have like a more 3 dimensional character in Prince Charles and other royals but I understand why the movie didn't fill out those characters. They would have taken dramatic focus away from the Queen. Perhaps unfair to Prince Charles but not unnecessarily so because he was still portrayed very sympathetically. Just a bit weaker than I would have liked.
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  #108  
Old 10-31-2006, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysbel
Perhaps unfair to Prince Charles but not unnecessarily so because he was still portrayed very sympathetically. Just a bit weaker than I would have liked.
That's the interesting point: I don't see prince Charles as being weak at all. Just see how he has bent the rules for Royality over and over again when he has been convinced it is the right thing to do.

But of course the focus on the queen makes sense. She is somehow something like an "empty canvas" for the creative artist set on making a film. There are bits and pieces known of her character but it's mere speculation what really went on in her head and in her household during this week. Thus it's the perfect opportunity to show the director's side of the story which has not necessarily anything to do with the truth. But as he shows it vividly in pictures, it will leave an impression on any viewer, even if they are aware of the fact that it's a work of fiction.

While with Charles and the other characters much more facts or at least plausibilities are known, so the freedom of the director is much reduced here. That's what I don't like about the idea of this film - Fry took the target which would never tell her side of the story and used the queen to further his own aims. I don't like things like that, really.

On portraying the queen as the absolute queen of her family and Charles as weak (at least that's how I read the reviews and comments) he diminished the future of the monarchy on making money out of the present. Not nice in my book.
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  #109  
Old 11-01-2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo of Palatine
But of course the focus on the queen makes sense. She is somehow something like an "empty canvas" for the creative artist set on making a film. [snip] While with Charles and the other characters much more facts or at least plausibilities are known, so the freedom of the director is much reduced here. That's what I don't like about the idea of this film - Fry took the target which would never tell her side of the story and used the queen to further his own aims. I don't like things like that, really.
I do suspect the director wanted to make Tony Blair look good, if only because, he had directed a film with Blair before and he seemed to have more affinity with the Blair character. I don't see the director using the Queen as a blank canvas to pour his own ideas on though. Mirren's portrayal was pretty conservative; she showed the Queen's attention to duty, to history, and to her country and to her family and these traits of the Queen are no major secret.

I interpreted the focus on the Queen as the directors choice because the Queen was the character that had the central dilemma, she was the head of the monarchy and her role was to make the decision about what to do about Diana's death. She had a choice either to honor the tradition she was raised to or to honor her people's wishes. Charles didn't have this crucial decision to make because he wasn't the monarch yet. That's pretty standard fare for drama; the main character is usually the one that has the agonizing choice to make that will have a major impact on everyone else. For this time period, that person was the Queen.

Peripherally, I also think the focus on the Queen highlighted the injustice of the outrage - with Charles as a central character, it would have been easy to chalk up the people's hatred as something he deserved because he had cheated on his wife. It was much more difficult to justify the hatred against the Queen though.

So it was a very complex film; one that had many layers of meaning and all the characterizations were pretty subtle, even the ones I complained about so I'm not sure they would be that apparent to the average filmgoer.

But I understand why historical dramas based on living persons and actual events can be risky; if a viewer simply is uncomfortable with it, they should just stay away from the film.
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  #110  
Old 11-05-2006, 01:30 AM
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I just saw The Queen in America and I liked it. I must admit I always read Prince Charles had more conflict with the Queen than Prime Minister Blair over Princess Diana's funeral, that was quite a surprise. Prince Phillip came over as a callous man as I think he must be! Plus it does make you wonder if any person ever speaking ever means what they say as they never ever write it!

All in all, it was a good movie and it made me miss a great human being! No matter how difficult she made the "royals" life I do hope they did not make some of the comments made in the film about her in real life. After all, she was only human.

Lily
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  #111  
Old 11-05-2006, 03:07 PM
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So is it realy controversial movie?
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  #112  
Old 11-18-2006, 01:48 AM
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Saw it today...I liked it...but I don't think Queen Elizabeth would be amused...
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  #113  
Old 12-02-2006, 02:37 PM
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Well, dear members, I have just seen the Queen and unlike BeatrixFan, whose comments I adore but do not agree with, I enjoyed the movie, recognizing that it is a movie and nothing more. The one thing that came across was a woman with great personal dignity. A quality sadly lacking in public life today.

I thought the first audience in which Blair was trying to hard to ingratiate himself to this cool, correct and formal monarch who has seen it all before was hilarious as the poor man kept ever so slightly putting his foot in his mouth. The character of the Queen Mother was a huge disappointment, knowing what I know of her unless she had gone completely into dotage her portrayal in that movie was completely off.

The thing that nobody has talked about was that in fact by the time of these events the real Queen Elizabeth was no doubt weary-if not outraged- beyond words with Diana and the whole scene. In fact the staff and her advisers had a much harder time than is portrayed in that movie. They at one point, I have read, had to threaten to resign en masse. I did love the scene, not understood by audiences here in America, where Blair is on the telephone to the Queen up in the kitchen at Balmoral and tells her it is his constitutional duty to advise her... Which of course means that if the Queen does not accept his advice and in effect do what she is told he resigns. Then there would be a real stew indeed.

The scene where the Queen is sitting alone in the wilds of Scotland and sees a deer I found moving in spite of the superficial hokeyness of it. The use of silence was moving, particularly when she turns to face the camera and is the suggestion of weeping.

I still repeat my assertion that a large part of the British public had a collective nervous breakdown at that time. Over a woman who demonstrated two very different kinds of faces, one public, one private. The queen who saw them both was not terribly impressed. The best line in the movie was Blair's comment as the Queen was delivering her speech: "a survivor", the ultimate compliment of a politician. That and the chilling comment of the Queen that they will do the same thing to you.

all in all worth the $5.50 I paid for it. What does that translate into real money: L2.25??? Of course I am not a movie person. This is the first movie I had been to in over two years I think. the last I went to was Troy with Brad Pitt, for which I paid $1.5) (75 pence in real money???) and spent most of the time laughing so hard I thought they were going to throw me out. Now there was an atrocious movie. Cheers.
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  #114  
Old 12-02-2006, 03:58 PM
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Thomas, I have come to enjoy your comments in all threads so very much. You have done a great job here of summarizing the movie. Thanks!
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  #115  
Old 12-03-2006, 03:19 AM
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I saw the movie and loved Mirren's performance, she's a great actress.
The thing about this movie is that it shows how people change for good or worse; for example Tony Blair (married to a known republican, laborist, etc) became more monarchic than QEII herself, the part where he fights with his team defending the Queen is awesome; the DoE is portrayed as a REALLY old-school royal almost bordering in fascist, the Queen Mother is shown as a weak drugged old woman, Charles is kind of a traitor 'cuz he didn't support his mother's decision.

I also liked the part where the two Queens are having a stroll and the mother tells EII that "she's one of the finest queens" or something like that, that's she's the "institution's greatest asset" and the part where the RF was outside Buckingham and QEII got the flowers from the little girl, every women there curtseyed to her, that's a kind of power not all monarchs have.

To be short, I really liked the movie, it's not a Deep study on the RF but more about the Queen and her relationship with Blair and how much they learn about each other (I also loved Blair's face when she told him her first PM was THE Winston Churchill! )

When QEII is gone, the whole notion of a duty-first Monarch will end...
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  #116  
Old 12-03-2006, 12:21 PM
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I saw the movie, loved it. great portrayal of characters, particularly Tony & Cherie Blair.
I recommend it.
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  #117  
Old 12-05-2006, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crisiñaki
When QEII is gone, the whole notion of a duty-first Monarch will end...
I agree wholeheartedly. May she live for many many years more!
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  #118  
Old 12-14-2006, 11:40 AM
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Helen Mirren gets Golden Globe nomination for 'The Queen'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6178833.stm

The movie gets a nomination too.
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  #119  
Old 12-18-2006, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan
I saw it tonight. Arse gravy. Pure arse gravy. It was the most pathetic, snot driven, poorly written, cinematically backward film I have ever had the misfortune to pay for. I said to the cashier at the cinema, "You should wear a black and white striped top and a beret, because you've just robbed me of 3.50". I have never been so bored in all my life. Helen Mirren comes on in some dodgy old wig and a forced voice and displays the film equivalent of Chernobyl. This endless dribbly garbage has no real plot and any acting ability has obviously been left at home. Add the hen-party performances of Mirren and Sylvia Sims to the slash-your-wrists soundtrack and you get a mucus drenched flurry of crap acting and extremely poor direction. It runs like an Ealing comedy without the laughs but with the same dodgy scenery.

So, there I sat, thinking of the money I'd just spent practically seeing pennies float away before my eyes and I sat being forced to watch Sylvia Sims portray the Queen Mother on this screen which is obviously designed for inmates of Moorefield's Eye Hospital. If we're supposed to believe Sims's portrayal is right, the Queen Mother was obviously on LSD in her latter years and Prince Philip was cryogenically frozen in 1956.

Poor Robin Janvrin was portrayed as Darth Vader whilst Charles - well, if he really is that weak I've seriously got him wrong. Now, alot of people have said that they truly believed Helen Mirren was the Queen. Has the Queen undergone a full body transplant since I last saw her? Goodness me, I sat there in this cinema and usually I think people doing rude things in the back row is appalling behaviour but what else was there do whilst this flood of cinematic defecation was splurged out over the popcorn and 3 old ladies in the front view who actually walked out. I would have done the same but I thought, "I've paid this much, I'm staying".

My advice - don't go and see this film and certainly don't go on a date to the cinema to see this because you'll never see him again. I can't actually believe this film is being tipped for awards! I came out of the cinema and I thought for a moment that someone had crept in and rubbed penguin faeces into my eyes. It was just like watching a very bad school play production of "Mrs Doubtfire" where the title role is played by the Headmaster who dresses up in sussies at the weekends anyway. Just appalling.

In short ; I didn't like it.
well praise for the movie is coming from all quarters, and helen has already won numerous awards---i havent counted but shes been named best actress almost everywhere. i have yet to read a negative review of the movie in the papers. so your take on the film is interesting.
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  #120  
Old 12-25-2006, 08:31 PM
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Finally got to see The Queen this afternoon at a local theatre -- pretty full screening for Christmas Day afternoon. First of all, let me say that if you read up as much as I do on the British Royal Family, you were well able to follow some of the more subtle things (ex. Phillip's comments about "getting Diana to tow the line" about Charles' continuing post-marriage relationship with Camilla, that "that's just the way things are done"; Elizabeth, "oh really, Phillip?", and the implication that Philip may have been unfaithful?). But what I took away from the movie is what a psychologically complex person the Queen herself must be. What an emotional burden to live as a person who must constantly show an unassailably neutral, constantly pleasant, and perfectly regal face to the public but must for necessity's sake guard her private life and feelings with rigor and sacrifice. I greatly admire the woman even more now having watched the movie.

And it was eerie how much Helen Mirren was able to mimic her mannerisms, voice, and even stride. And isn't Helen Mirren quite statuesque? 5'10" or so??? She managed through some sort of clever costuming and staging (and perhaps casting of a much taller Prince Phillip) to seem quite petite, just like the real queen. Oscar-level performance.
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