The Queen (2006)

Rating 12

Length 1Hr 43

Release 15.9.2006

About In the wake of a national tragedy, the prime minister and royal family find themselves quietly at odds. The initial reluctance of Buckingham Palace to mourn Diana is seen by the public as a sign of cool emotional distance, but Tony Blair, perceiving a potential public-relations disaster in the making, takes it upon himself to persuade Queen Elizabeth to pay tribute to the dead princess.


The Good

  • This film is almost the best of British that didn’t get cast in Potter. Helen Mirren and Michael Sheen are worth watching this for alone; they might physically look like those wax figures you squint at to work out who they are, but they have everything else about their respective figures down to a fine art.
  • As always, James Cromwell is a wonderful addition to the cast and does what I’d imagine is a pitch perfect private-life Prince Philip. Helen McCrory does a remarkable job with Cherie Blair’s northern accent and clashing views on the monarchy.
  • The film’s approach to the events surrounding Diana’s death provide a unique film: the narrative is supported by existing newsreel coverage from the time. While tonally, I think it has issues, I must admit it is visually a perfect way to frame the film.

The Bad

  • Alex Jennings sticks out as an almost Spitting Image version of Charles. Perhaps it’s the mannerisms, or the contrast of the other’s acting styles but his performance feels more like satire.

The Ugly

  • It’s a very British film, but I’m not certain it’s for a British audience. I’m not really sure who it’s for as it is all rather neutral in its presentation of the characters and institutions. It’s a presentation of a very sterile not-quite-history and that’s perhaps the problem; it was too soon.

Final Thoughts

I don’t quite get the purpose of the film and I didn’t gain anything other than wasting away 2 hours. If you’re looking for ballsy finger pointing check out Scandal S5 Ep1.