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Monday, September 03, 2007

The royal gaze

We watched "The Queen" again last night. It may seem trite to say it but nonetheless we did. You really do think it's her. She's too young, too tall and she has the same broad-hipped walk as DCI Jane Tennison, but still Helen Mirren's turn as the Queen is one of the supreme pieces of impersonation. It works best when she occupies the entire frame - very much as her character does an entire stamp - and just looks out at the rest of us. She describes how she did it in a marvellous John Lahr profile in the New Yorker. “Her personality, her intelligence, everything is way back. Then she’s steadily looking out, as if through a porthole, with this incredibly nonjudgmental, confident gaze." Like Michael Caine says, the only thing that matters in movie acting is the eyes.