THE QUEEN : The Best Movie of 2006?
I'm not sure what the "Oscar-Baiting Season"
in Hollywood this December will bring,
but so far,
THE QUEEN is definitely the BEST MOVIE
I've seen in 2006.
It's completely fascinating,
and utterly grounded in present reality,
all at once.
I've always wondered how the U.K.'s Prime Minister
relates officially, and personally,
with the Head of State, The Queen.
I've always wondered how Royalty,
specially in these modern days,
behave in private: are they still Medieval?
I've always wondered how all of these personages
reacted behind closed doors in the aftermath
of Princess Diana's tragic accident.
This film provides a spycam view of
what may just have occurred among them
in that most memorable week of 1997,
when the whole world,
including all of us here in The Philippines,
were glued to the BBC and CNN,
grieving and sharing in the loss of England's Rose.
This movie instantly brings you back to that time
forever bookmarked by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind".
We've seen Hollywood actors channel
greats such as Muhammad Ali, Johnny Cash,
June Carter, Ray Charles, Truman Capote,
and win Oscars for their performances.
Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II,
and Michael Sheen as PM Tony Blair
do them one better:
both of them portray people who
in exactly the same positions of power now.
And Mirren and Sheen are UNCANNY.
Every nuance, every word, every gesture
is note perfect.
The other actors who portray
Prince Philip (James Cromwell!),
The Queen Mother,
and Mrs. Blair~
may not be deadringers for the real people,
but are so uniformly excellent in their roles,
that you'll instantly forget
any superficial differences.
The movie spans a week in the life;
perhaps the most critical week in
Queen Elizabeth's reign,
when the Royal Family's stiff upper lips
prevented them from joining their English people
in grieving for the former Diana Spencer,
a true Princess of the People.
The Windsors were hammered by London's tabloids,
mocked by millions of commoners,
criticized by the world-at-large,
until the Queen's Tribute to Diana,
which was broadcast globally, live.
What role did the then brand new Prime Minister
play in all this?
What foibles of Royalty prevented them
from acting at a more opportune time?
What pressures bore on both Buckingham Palace
and Downing Street?
THE QUEEN just may provide the answer...