85. The Queen (2006)

Helen Mirren stars as Elizabeth II in The Queen, which focuses on the events of 1997 as she deals with the newly elected Prime Minister of England, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) and the fallout of the untimely death of her ex-daughter-in-law Princess Diana.  After Diana passes away from a Paris car crash while dodging the unrelenting paparazzi, public opinion of The Queen and the royal family takes a nosedive as The Queen acts coldly and callous by not reacting to the tragedy and insisting on a private ceremony.  As Tony Blair had promised a “modernization” of government to the British people – the old ways of The Queen were quickly stoking the temper of the British public who already held (or still hold…) a certain contempt for the monarchy.

While Prince Charles’ paranoia runs rampant, he immediately sides with Tony Blair placing The Queen under great pressure. Separated from reality, as well as assured and enabled by her husband Prince Phillip (James Cromwell), The Queen takes orders from no one and must deal with the changing times and expectations of the monarchy before risking permanent damage to the throne.

I can’t say I know much about the British royal family, or how sensationalized the behind-the-scenes events are depicted in The Queen, but it is definitely an engrossing look into the life of Queen Elizabeth and her family.  While the tragedy of Princess Diana is morbidly intriguing by itself, this candid portrayal of a privileged Queen living by her own rules is simply captivating with all due credit to an outstanding portrayal by Helen Mirren.  Her Academy Award winning performance casts a shadow that no one can escape from-and with a role as dominant and powerful as The Queen, it’s a perfect fit.

The survey says… 4.5 stars out of 5

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Categories: 100 Films

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