Saturday, December 12, 2009
Capsule Review: The Queen (2006)
Helen Mirren plays Queen Elizabeth, who after the election of Tony Blair (Michael Sheen) faces harsh criticism because of the royal family’s reaction to the death of Diana. A balanced affair, The Queen doesn’t point fingers or attempt to make vast political statements, but instead is a character study about how characters with extreme influence deal with a national tragedy. Mirren is astounding, though Sheen holds his own as a sympathetic, grinning version of the Prime Minister. Stephen Frears direction is restrained, keeping the focus on the constant confrontations by the heavyweights and their handlers.