login | register |

The Queen

Tradition Prepared Her. Change Will Define Her.  

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from The Queen

Director: Stephen Frears

Starring: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings

The Queen is an intimate look at how Tony Blair (Sheen), the newly elected Prime Minister, “saved” the royal family after the death of Princess Diana. Maintaining the immemorial English stiff upper lip, HM Elizabeth II (Mirren) and her family recoiled from public view during the public outpouring of grief. Blair, realising that the Queen’s socially blinkered approach was alienating her subjects, suggested a compromise between honouring tradition and giving into public demands.

Mirren gives a commanding performance worthy of an Oscar. The audience witnesses an intensely believable Elizabeth with both a sense of humour and a deep sense of duty. Her rapport with Sheen is a highlight. The differences are apparent upon their initial meeting but, movingly, it is Blair that becomes the staunchest defender of the Queen’s integrity and commitment to the nation.

The audience is privy to a backstage drama of complex relationships. The Queen, a living embodiment of English propriety, is delicately balanced against Blair’s modern government. Frears is innovative in his use of eerie documentary footage, allowing Princess Diana to portray herself through a series of interviews. What results is the perfect combination of historical conjecture and political commentary.

The film is restrained and, subtle as its mix of decorous gossip, wit and compassion humanises the royal facade of decorum and the prickly world of politics and popular culture. This exceptional comedy of manners is an intimate piece of living history.

Sarah Hall

More Information | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Spring Term (35mm)