The Queen

Director: Stephen Frears

The internal battle to keep private dignity in the face of overwhelming press and public outcry after the tragic death of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed caused by a paparazzi induced high-speed car accident helped win Helen Mirren the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frears’s meticulously constructed docudrama. Although viewers may assume that getting an inside look of the royal world would be both dull and dry, we are instantly riveted. Fears reveals the intricacies and intimacy of the monarchy in a regal, eye-opening, thoughtful and yet respectful production in a way that manages to illuminate all sides as admittedly most press coverage of that devastating time was slanted against the Queen following both the shocking deaths and recent election of popular modern thinking Tony Blair as the England’s Prime Minister. While like most other viewers, I was extremely impressed by Mirren, I was equally drawn in by the compelling performance of Michael Sheen as Tony Blair who is given an excellent and more personally engrossing storyline as the film progresses. Although The Queen earned high critical praise and numerous nominations, I felt that it was a slight stretch for the piece to be given a nomination for Best Picture of the year and believed that the jaw-dropping production of Dreamgirls should have received its slot. Still, all in all, an excellent look into a world foreign to most American audiences.

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