I adore Helen Mirren. I’ve seen her on both American and British TV, and in movies such as Gosford Park and Calendar Girls (where she utters that sublime line “I think we’re going to need bigger buns”). Last night, I saw her in The Queen, and it definitely did not disappoint. Even Damir, who I had to drag there and take for a beer before and after, admitted that it was a really interesting insight into the politics of the royal family.
Cameron Bailey of Now Magazine gives a glowing review of the movie that pretty much matches what I think. The focus of the movie is on the events around Diana’s death, when the newly-elected Tony Blair was pushing for the royals to display a more public face of their grief to allow the people of the nation to grieve, while the royals were up at Balmoral stalking stags, watching their ratings drop in the public eye and trying to ignore the entire situation. Mirren’s performance is beautifully understated — she can say more with the lift of an eyebrow than most actors can with an entire soliliquoy — and Michael Sheen‘s portrayal of Tony Blair and his ever-present shit-eating grin was spot on. I also greatly enjoyed James Cromwell as Prince Philip; I’ve admired his work in many things, such as George Sibley in the Six Feet Under TV series.
It seems like there’s a number of great movies out now, after the rather dreadful run through the summer. The new James Bond flick is due out later this month, and The Prestige had a great review from the moviesTO podcast as well as from Now Magazine. I have no plans to see Borat, however.