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Her Majesty

43 customer reviews

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(Aug 29, 2006)
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Editorial Reviews

In this charming and inspirational story, a young girl's unusual friendship with an old woman outcast from society transforms an entire community. As a rural New Zealand town excitedly prepares for a visit from the Queen of England, the townspeople pressure Hira, an elderly Maori woman (Vicky Haughton, Whale Rider), to sell her rickety shack that has long been an embarrassment to the town. No one is more excited to meet the Queen than 13-year-old Elizabeth, but when she meets Hira and hears her compelling stories of her tribe's history and culture, she is forever changed and moved by the old woman's great wisdom and kindness. Now the friendship sends troubling repercussions through the rest of her life and could cost her everything she has long cherished. A touching drama for all ages, this endearing, bittersweet coming-of-age tale about one young girl's struggle for justice will leave you cheering!

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sally Andrews, Anna Sheridan, Mark Clare, Alison Routledge, Geoff Snell
  • Directors: Mark J. Gordon
  • Writers: Mark J. Gordon
  • Producers: James D. Brubaker, Judith Trye, Lisa B. Gordon, Susan Lyon Hailey, Susan Saltz
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2006
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FUF7BM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #128,442 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Her Majesty" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Marc Newman on August 26, 2006
Format: DVD
Set in 1953, Her Majesty tells the story of a young, white New Zealander named Elizabeth -- a delightful girl who, when not practicing her steps for her marching team or innocently crushing on her coach, idolizes the queen of England. Upon discovering that the queen is planning a visit to New Zealand, Elizabeth begins a one-girl letter-writing campaign to try to put her rural town on the queen's travel itinerary. Against all odds, Elizabeth succeeds. The town is thrown into a frenzy of preparation and everything is nearly perfect -- except for the eyesore of a house, right at the entrance to the town, inhabited by Hira Mata, an old Maori woman.

Reclusive and mysterious, Hira is the object of mean speculation by the townsfolk and a victim of a band of young hooligans, led by Elizabeth's brother, Stuart. Shocked to see anyone treated so cruelly, Elizabeth seeks out Hira to try to make things right. Their first uncomfortable encounter slowly turns into friendship. As Elizabeth grows closer to Hira she learns the cost of befriending an outcast, and proud Hira must wrestle with her own prejudices. Along the way, long-buried town secrets are revealed and threats to Hira and Elizabeth mount as the time of the royal visit draws nearer.

What sets writer/director Mark Gordon's film far above most movies is his ability to craft a morally-complex world that manages to maintain a morally-certain center. He also bucks the trend of cultural self-loathing by creating an appreciative world where one need not hate or reject one's own culture to embrace what is beautiful in another's. Finally, there is an overwhelming sense of the ability of truth and grace to triumph over deceit and petty meanness.

Her Majesty is beautifully shot and boasts a marvelous score. I saw this film in the theater and it will be a treasured part of my DVD collection.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Deb Wiley on June 26, 2006
Format: DVD
If you didn't get to see this wonderful movie in the theater (as I did), order the video. The story of how a young girl overcomes her own prejudices to see the dignity of the old ways in New Zealand is one we can transfer to our own culture. I was touched by this movie and will order the DVD. It is entirely appropriate for children, and a great message for all ages.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader on May 22, 2007
Format: DVD
Set in the 1950s, a young girl named Elizabeth is enthralled by the recent coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. She daydreams about meeting the Queen and begins a letter writing campaign to invite Elizabeth II to visit. The town is thrown into a frenzy when the news comes that the Queen has placed Middleton on her itinerary for the upcoming royal visit to New Zealand.

An old Maori tribeswoman soon becomes the target of many of the leading citizens' rage because they consider her ramshackle house, a blight on the parade route.

Elizabeth befriends the old woman and learns about the history and culture of the Maori people which puts her at odds with the rest of the town and even her own family.

A very sweet and entertaining story with one of the most odious older brothers I've ever encountered in a story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah Earle on June 7, 2007
Format: DVD
This 2001 film shows off the beauty of New Zealand, and recreates the grace and charm of its society in the 1950s when it hosted the newly coronated Queen Elizabeth II.
In some ways, I view this fictional story of a fantasy-prone teenaged girl as a counterpart to the tragic true-to-life story of two fantasy-prone teenaged girls in need of a reality check, portrayed in Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creatures", which took place in New Zealand around the same time. But Director Mark J. Gordon's tale is heartwarming and triumphant.
With her large eyes and crooked smile, Sally Andrews gives a sincere performance as Elizabeth Wakefield, a dreamy 13-year-old living in Middleton, New Zealand in 1953, with her cheesemonger father (Mark Clare), mother(Alison Routledge), delinquent brother Stuart (Craig Elliott), and dog, Kupe (Hercules).
She is a civic-minded young girl who enjoys school, being part of the marching squad, time spent with her best friend, Annabel Leach(Anna Sheridan), and determinedly writing letters to the Queen, enthralled by the pomp and splendor of the recent coronation.
The postman, Nigel Osgood(Geoff Snell), left mute in battle during World War II, empathizes with her plight. He will come through for the young girl at a very critical moment, and will receive a miracle of his own.
Elizabeth also has a schoolgirl's crush on her handsome young marching instructor, Ian Dixon (Cameron Smith), and the audience is treated to a cute dream sequence involving that issue. But realistically, she will experience a disappointment there.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Randy Rice on October 25, 2006
Format: DVD
Being a father of a ten-year-old girl, I see every young person film that's made. Her Majesty is one of the best I've seen in a long time. So much better than, say, Princess Diary. It is a beautiful story told with humor and heart. And the on-location photography is marvelous. I just love it when I can enjoy a film that I "have" to see because my daughter wants to watch it. Thank you, Mark Gordon - please keep making films!
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