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Sunday, March 11, 2007

God save Helen Mirren

Finally got to see The Queen last night. Things like this usually fail to live up to your Oscar-inflated expectations but I thought it was remarkable. It's just so simple and also over before you know it. I can't believe that Alastair Campbell is quite such a charmless spiv as he's portrayed, that Cherie Blair could be that bad at reading the public mood and I know that her husband has got more substance to him than Michael Sheen manages to suggest (though he has captured the voice perfectly) but they all just melt away next to Helen Mirren who's magnetic. I read an interview where she said that she'd decided that the Queen looked at the world from a long way away, as if she was observing it through a pair of binoculars, and she wanted to play her that way. That's just what she does. There's something particularly brilliant about watching the Queen watching TV. It's also an interesting generation gap film. Both Mirren and Stephen Frears were born in the 40s and as he says in the extras the Queen has been a fact of his life longer than anyone else. That's a unique "relationship" to have with somebody you never meet.