January 25, 2007

Cabbages and queens

The film 'The Queen' is the kind of faction docudrama I avoid, but the reviews drew me. Helen Mirren is indeed terrific as Elizabeth Windsor. It's a deft, unsentimental, but not cynical, script about the political aftermath of Diana's death. Tony Blair is acceptably impersonated with one great moment near the end, but the Queen is there in front of our eyes. What gradually differentiates this film is how impressive and honorable is the Queen's dry-eyed response to the emotional blackmail all around. Cherie Blair's contempt for the Queen and for Blair's respect towards the Queen is laid out in its gorgeous, smirking shallowness. Maybe stoicism and duty are making a comeback in time for the battles to come. What next, a remake of El Cid?

Oh, and there's a bedroom scene with the memorable line "Move over, cabbage."

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