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The Queen (2006)

Helen Mirren , Michael Sheen , Stephen Frears  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (539 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Sylvia Syms, Alex Jennings
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: Dolby, Subtitled, Color, Dubbed, PAL
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (539 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPAO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Queen" on IMDb

Special Features

  • The making of The Queen

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Helen Mirren reigns supreme in The Queen, a witty and ingenious look at a moment that rocked the house of Windsor: the week that followed the sudden death of Princess Diana in 1997. Diana's death came at just the same time that Prime Minister Tony Blair (played by the bright Michael Sheen) was settling into his new government--and trying to figure out the delicate relationship between 10 Downing Street and Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren). A large portion of the British population was trying to figure out the Windsors that week, as Elizabeth remained stiff-upper-lip and largely mum about the death of the beloved princess. In Peter Morgan's skillful script, we watch as Blair grows increasingly impatient with the Royals, who are sequestered in their Scottish estate while the public demands some show of grief. Prince Philip (James Cromwell, in good form) clumsily decides to take Diana's sons hunting, while a sympathetically-treated Prince Charles (Alex Jennings) displays some frustration with his mother's eerie calm.

None of this conveys how funny the film is, or how deftly it flows from one scene to the next. Director Stephen Frears (Dirty Pretty Things) deserves great credit for that, and for the performances, and for the movie's marvelous sense of well-roundedness; you could see this movie and groan at the cluelessness of the Royals and their outmoded existence, or you might just sympathize with showing reserve in a world that values gross public displays of emotion. But either way, you'll marvel at Mirren, who makes the Queen far more alert and human than one might ever have imagined. --Robert Horton

Beyond The Queen

The British are Coming! Kings & Queens on DVD

Helen Mirren Essential DVDs

The Queen: Music From the Motion Picture
by Alexandre Desplat

Stills from The Queen (click for larger image)







Product Description

Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Actress, Dame Helen Mirren gives a spellbinding performance in THE QUEEN, the provocative story behind one of the most public tragedies of our time — the sudden death of Princess Diana. In the wake of Diana's death, the very private and tradition-bound Queen Elizabeth II (Mirren) finds herself in conflict with the new Prime Minister, the slickly modern and image-conscious Tony Blair. THE QUEEN, also starring Academy Award® Nominee James Cromwell (Best Supporting Actor, BABE, 1995), takes you inside the private chambers of the Royal Family and the British government for a captivating look at a vulnerable human being in her darkest hour, as a nation grieving for its People's Princess waits to see what its leaders will do. Suspenseful, heartfelt and riveting, it's a fascinating story you won’t soon forget.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
136 of 155 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mirren, yes...but a word about Michael Sheen's great TB November 5, 2006
Format:Theatrical Release
Helen Mirren is getting the requisite kudos for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth. But there's another portrayal in Stephen Frears' excellent film of an equally public figure that is going relatively overlooked: Michael Sheen's spot-on take on Tony Blair. I was totally mesmerized at just how perfectly Sheen had both the look and feel of the unbridled optimism of TB at the outset of his first term. That's key because it's Blair's intuition on the matters at hand here that are instrumental in shaking the Royal Family out of their tone-deaf dismissal of the unfolding events across the country.

It's interesting to see the portrayals here and see how harsh or sympathetic they are (Mirren's Elizabeth is complex and beyond analysis here):

Prince Philip - A devastating take on him

Price Charles - Painted very sympathetically by Alex Jennings, but obviously cowed by his mother

Alastair Campbell - A very positive take on New Labour's wordsmith by Mark Bazeley (I'm a big Campbell fan, so it was good to see the script honor his contributions to Blair's early successes).

Queen Mom - Yikes! Not a very pretty picture

Frears' delicate and respectful approach keeps William and Harry just off the picture.

What will really take you about the movie is this: as many reviewers here note, they found themselves strangely moved and shocked by Diana's death, like she was a member of the family. When those scenes play out here, wow, you'll be quite surprised at the emotions that well up in you. It will happen. Trust me.

Frears - as pitch-perfect movie helmsman - includes the stirring end portion of the eulogy penned and intoned by Charles, Earl of Spencer (Diana's brother).
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263 of 305 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The latest threat to the crown dramatized... October 17, 2006
Format:Theatrical Release
Monarchs have always faced threats to their thrones. So much so that royal history, burgeoning with fiendish conspiracies, violent plots, and gruesome assassinations, sometimes reads like a slasher novel. A few recent films have fully exploited this theme. 1998's "Elizabeth", starring the should-have-won-an-Oscar-for-this-role Cate Blanchett as Elizabeth I, revolved around an assassination attempt that included the queen's lover. On a less violent theme, Judy Dench, in "Mrs. Brown", depicted Queen Victoria's "trist" with a Highlander that had all of England alight with scandal. Has a new "threatened queen" genre emerged? Apparently so. Enter a rare film about a living monarch who finds her crown imperiled in an astonishingly novel way. For once Her Majesty can watch the drama she lived reemerge in celluloid - not that she probably wants to. Though the film sports a prosaic title, "The Queen", it boldly explores uncharted territory. Here the Queen, reigning in the late twentieth century hinterland between monarchy and non-monarchy, finds herself attacked by her own people. And she, much like the great-great-grandmother she shares with her husband, was not amused.

The film opens as Queen Elizabeth II sits for a regal portrait. Her world unfolds as the royal portraiteer dotes on his imperial subject. Then, in a "we're not in Kansas anymore" flash, the newly elected Tony Blair explodes onto the screen. The now ex-Prime Minister receives voluminous coverage for a movie entited "The Queen." One memorable early scene shows Blair bowing on one knee as the Queen inquires as to his desire to serve the nation. He answers "yes." That probably didn't give too much away. Both figures, Sovereign and Prime Minister, share the spotlight and their disparate worlds collide after catastrophe strikes.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLOSE CALL June 10, 2007
Format:DVD
There are several themes to this excellent and most original and interesting film; but what it is about more than anything else is how political regimes and whole dynasties can be undone on account of a single error of judgment. It is only near the end that Her Majesty warns her prime minister that this will happen to him, and happen suddenly and without warning. It had nearly happened to her, he had been the saving of her on this occasion, and her dire prediction for him probably holds an uneasy message for herself too.

At the start the Queen is full of regal self-assurance, neatly putting her boyish and slightly nervous novice of a prime minister in his place by telling him he is sitting where Churchill once sat. In next to no time the positions are reversed, as Blair's acute political antennae tell him that HM is in imminent danger of losing her subjects' allegiance, something that would have been unimaginable only days previously, through trusting her own judgment and listening to the advice of her husband and her mother in respect of how to react to the death of Princess Diana. Throughout the crisis Blair is adroit and sure-footed, the monarch is made to realise bitterly from the newspapers how he has it right and she has been hopelessly at sea, but unlike her family counsellors she has the wit to swallow her pride and retrieve the situation before it slides beyond retrieval. This one incident could have undone a lifetime of unswerving dedication, universally acknowledged, to her country, and put the skids under the House of Windsor itself. Her warning to Blair is really made from a new sense of respect and a shocked realisation of how quickly and brutally the tables can turn. And how right she has been.
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