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.

1 comment:

  1. I sat down to watch this movie with an ambivalent attitude, my feelings were basically that as an Irish man living in Dublin, this film would have little to interest me but after 5 minutes I was gripped. It's an extraordinary achievement which had me feeling sympathy for such an alien figure (to my own experience). It also reminded me of where I was when the Diana news broke. U2 were playing two night's in Dublin's RDS that weekend, I woke up on the Sunday morning on a beanbag in my friend's flat. We switched on sky news to get through the hangover fug and we assumed, for at least half an hour, that the Queen mum had passed on. We went to see the '2 again the second night and they put up Diana's face on the big screen while they played 'One', which was strange given the location, but it still gave a large proportion of the audience a 'there's something in my eye' moment.