THE QUEEN: If you haven't seen The Queen, run don't walk. Helen Mirren so completely devotes herself to the role that she seems to become Elizabeth. She definitely deserves an Oscar. She managed to show both how out of touch the monarchy was during Princess Diana's death, but also brought a human side to HRM...one that was sadly lacking (and might still be) until that week in 1997. Director Stephen Frears does a magnificent job of blending news footage and the actors. And although it seems the Queen might have softened a bit, the script and Mirren play it so you can never tell if it's genuine feelings of remorse or that she was coerced by then-newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair. The actor portraying him (Michael Sheen), looks and sounds so much like Blair, you forget it's someone else. Although it seems Frears tried to give a balanced version of what happened (although there is no way we'll ever know...maybe if the Queen's journals are published after her death), but the monarchy still comes off as looking cold and detatched. Prince Philip is upset that his summer holiday at Balmoral has been disrupted and dismisses Diana's death as yet another nuisance. The Queen Mother is a boozer who balks at the idea they are using funeral plans drawn up for her to bury Diana. But this is Helen Mirren's film (although Sheen should get a best-supporting actor nod). She's the one to beat come awards time.

I spent the afternoon wandering around Piccadilly Circus and Leiceister Square. It was cold and sunny and lots of folks out and about. I'm going back to the Poetry Cafe this evening to hear some poets read and meet up with friend and fellow poet Agnes Meadows.

More soon.

Comments

M. Ru Pere said…
yah, just saw H Mirren on HBO as Eliz I where incidentally she was loving up on the Earl of Leiceister (j Irons) - L Square rocks fer sure - our Greenwich tour guide pointed out helen M's place on the Thames on the way - it's a great walking tour btw - mostly a boat ride
Robert said…
I am fond of reminding my English wife that I believe in the queen like I believe in the Easter bunny. Actually, I think the bunny has more politico-cultural clout. That said, I am the first to admit I don't understand the modern monarchy from inside the culture at all. It just seems like a remnant, even residue, of former greatness.
Anonymous said…
Hey Collin, take in a show while you are here and go and see Wicked at the Apollo Victoria. You'll love it!!

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