The most amazing thing about The Queen, directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things) is that Frears has taken a concept that angled sharply toward "made-for-tv movie" territory and turned it into a remarkable, insightful and subtle masterpiece of a film. The Queen, which stars Helen Mirren in a performance that's generating Best Actress Oscar buzz, is about the week or so after the death of Diana, the Princess of Wales, in August of 1997. Tony Blair, the Labour Party candidate, had just been elected in a landslide victory by an overwhelming majority of British voters. The public's sympathy and mindset was most assuredly tipping toward the common man, and idolizing the royals had fallen out of favor. Diana, who was always far more popular that her husband, Prince Charles, had ditched her marriage and a future throne and was spreading her wings as a free woman, constantly working in support of her various charitable causes while hob-knobbing with a different set of royalty -- celebrities. And the people of Britain -- indeed, the world -- just couldn't get enough of Diana, even after the divorce.
categories Reviews, Cinematical