Technically, all of Elizabeth’s decisions conformed to British protocol.  The flag above Buckingham Place, for example – which caused such an outcry – was not the national flag, but the royals’ personal flag, which flew only when the family was in residence – and never at half-mast.  Also, no royal had come out to greet the public since the end of WWII.  And yet, they remained completely clueless about how all this was being perceived.  As Blair utters, “Will someone save these people from themselves?”  That someone, of course, will be him.

James Cromwell plays Prince Philip, with an excellent accent and acting to match.  Alex Jennings is the hapless Prince Charles, intimidated by his mother yet loyal to Diana’s memory – and their children – despite reports to the contrary.  Helen McCrory is Blair's anti-monarchist wife, and Sylvia Syms is the ever-present Queen Mother, who is desperately worried that Diana’s death will upstage her own.

Is it time for a change?  Should the monarchy be abolished?  England has been asking that question for decades.  And although The Queen will naturally appeal more to English audiences, those with a penchant for history will enjoy it as well.  It’s the perfect opportunity to discuss the role of our leaders, too.  Do they exist to lead or serve us?  And how might that look, during our times of national crises?  This well-made, amusing and thoroughly engaging film nudges us to wonder. 

AUDIENCE:  Mature teens and up

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Audio commentary with director Stephen Frears and writer Peter Morgan
  • “The Making of The Queen"
  • Audio commentary with British historian and royal expert Robert Lacey, author of Majesty

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Mild drinking in several scenes and one brief reference to sleeping pills.
  • Language/Profanity:  A few mild and/or “British” profanities.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Indirect references to adultery, brief photos of Diana kissing Dodi al-Fayed, brief mention of “homosexuals.”
  • Violence:  Footage leading up to deadly car wreck which is then cut; documentary footage of funeral cortege; several shots of a dead stag.