Queen's Sister, The
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Queen's Sister, The (DVD)
Starring Lucy Cohu and Toby Stephens, The Queen's Sister is an in-depth biopic following the life of Princess Margaret from the days after her father's death in 1952 until the 1970s. Known to be a flamboyant royal, she had many controversial romances and also infamously kissed the daughter of the US ambassador. Included as a special feature is A Royal Scandal, starring Richar E. Grant and Susan Lynch. A Royal Scandal chronicles the infamous 19th century marriage and subsequent marital problems of King George and his wife Princess Caroline of Brunswick.]]>
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Very little explanation is provided for Margaret's hedonism. We don't see her relationship with her father, whose favorite she was, and her mother and sister never appear on screen. We are not allowed to see how her celebrated romance with Peter Townsend began, nor do we get much of an idea about why she eventually fell into and then out of love with Anthony Armstrong-Jones, Roddy Llewellyn, and her other lovers. All these disjointed segments leave us with is a deep sense of sadness for the Princess's wasted life, and maybe that's what the producers intended.
Interestingly enough, one of the extras provided on this DVD is much superior to the main selection. A Royal Scandal is an hour long depiction of the unhappy marriage of King George IV and Queen Caroline, which was first shown back in the 1990s. It really is funny, and the narration by Ian Richardson at his driest and most sardonic best is priceless.
I hope it is more fiction than fact.
Furthermore, there are silly additions to this movie that make it seem cartoonish which was dumb and unnecessary. We know that the Brits are cynical about the Monarchy now, but do they have to underline it with nonsense like flashing to the Frenchman after we see Margaret lighting a cigarette the first time and his response that she caused babies to smoke? I thought it was stupid. Smoking was something everyone did back then and I hardly think Margaret had a big impact on it. Women simply smoked in public more even though they were puffing in private.
Lucy Cohu does her best do wade through this mess and manages at times to portray Margaret as a real woman with mixed results. I got the feeling she was told to play a spoiled promiscuous harpy and that's all we get to see. Yes, Margaret's appeal was that she was sophisticated and elegant but also earthy and rebellious, but this movie focuses only on the shocking side of things. There is more to the story in other words.