Second Helping

21 Jan

I always hate going to the movies after year-end awards have been handed out because I can’t help but be biased while watching the film. It’s like my inner critic is crying out, “Impress me!”

And yet I do it anyway, mostly out of obligation, because I want to be able to have seen the major Oscar nominees.

So with that kind of mindset, I went to see The Queen on Saturday. And it’s a good movie, but I won’t be adding it to my top 10.

I don’t want to make this a “refuting the awards” review, but I’ll add that Helen Mirren is good, and yet I can’t say it’s far and away the best female performance I’ve seen all year (not that I can think of a better one off-hand).

If you don’t know, The Queen basically documents the week following the death of Princess Diana from the perspective of Tony Blair and Queen Elizabeth II.

Of course, no one knows what really happened behind those closed doors, but the film posits that the Queen, not a fan of Diana’s, was stuck in her old-fashioned ways, and was reluctant to acknowledge Diana’s death publicly or, it turns out, privately. It took Blair’s intervention for her to change her ways.

This is, of course, an interesting story, and the film tries to be insightful rather than rehash what we all lived through (for example, it discusses Elton John’s attendance at the funeral but doesn’t show his performance, and it shows that Blair did not come up with the term “people’s princess” all on his own).

Mirren’s performance is appropriately stoic and not showy, and Michael Sheen’s (as Blair) is more engaging, but I don’t know, I sort of wanted more out of the film.

And that’s why I’m only giving The Queen a B+.

2 Responses to “Second Helping”


  1. Secrets Can Be Seductive | Martin's Musings - October 8, 2020

    […] And I’ll go one step further and say that Judi Dench deserves the Oscar for her performance here more than Helen Mirren does for her work in The Queen. […]

  2. Good, In Any Language | Martin's Musings - June 1, 2021

    […] I’ve previously said, when I see movies after the Oscar nominations have been announced, I’m skeptical that the […]

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