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The Queen

Where to Watch The Queen


The 2006 movie, The Queen, is a compelling drama that spotlights some of the most significant events in recent British history. It shines a light on British royalty and political leadership through a unique lens, offering viewers an intense look behind the scenes in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s tragic and sudden death.

Directed by Stephen Frears and written by Peter Morgan, The Queen is an incredibly authentic film, largely attributed to the near-perfect casting and outstanding performances. The film hinges on the multi-faceted performances of its phenomenal cast, including the remarkable Helen Mirren, who embodies Queen Elizabeth II, Michael Sheen as the newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the accomplished James Cromwell as Prince Philip. Mirren’s portrayal of the Queen won her the Academy Award for Best Actress, solidifying the film's importance in cinema history.

The story commences with Tony Blair’s election as Prime Minister in May 1997, placing the Queen and the Prime Minister at the centre of the narrative. It defines their relationship, which is handled by the film with great subtlety and nuance, as they are positioned at opposite ends of a generational and ideological divide. Even so, they are both driven by a sense of duty to their country, which ultimately bounds them together, despite their political and personal differences.

The narrative sharply turns to one of the 20th Century's most disheartening events – the death of the People's Princess, Diana, in August 1997. Through the eyes of Queen Elizabeth II, the film delves into the conflicts of duty, tradition, and public sentiment arising from this tragedy. The Queen epitomizes the epitaph of the old guard – steeped in traditions, restraint, and an unwavering preference for the private over the public.

In the wake of national and international grief for Princess Diana, the movie explores the behind-the-scenes actions and reactions of various family members, cabinet members and royal staff. It brilliantly highlights the stark difference between the old-school ideals of privacy and stoicism upheld by the Queen and the expectations of a newer, more media-savvy and emotionally open public mourning Diana’s sudden death.

The film superbly contrasts the Queen’s steadfast reliance on protocol and Royal Family’s code of conduct with Prime Minister Blair’s more modern, empathetic perspective on the changing pulse of Britain. As the Queen staunchly upholds the line between the public and the private, Blair calls for open, public mourning.

The film, while centering on significant historical events, is not just a historical recount. Rather, it attempts to humanize Queen Elizabeth II, showing her under immense pressure from the public and Blair’s government, caught between her strong instincts to adhere to tradition and an understanding that these traditions need to adapt to a changing society.

One of the most riveting aspects of the film is the texture of the dialogue and the elegant pace of the story. Frears and Morgan paint a portrait of the Queen and Tony Blair with extraordinary tenderness and complexity. They beautifully capture the essence of the era, with vivid capturing of the associated settings – the regal landscapes around Balmoral, the royal palaces, and the public scenes of mourning.

Moreover, there is extraordinary performance cohesion amongst the cast. Helen Mirren’s Queen Elizabeth II is both austere and sympathetic, embodying the loneliness of the crown with extraordinary poise. Sheen brilliantly captures Tony Blair’s evolution from the brashness of his early days in office to a more measured leader who grows to understand and respect the Queen.

The Queen invites us into a world often just gossiped about but here intricately and humanely dissected. It brilliantly blends the public and the private, exposing the vulnerably human side underneath the impersonal façade of majesty.

Overall, The Queen is a psychological portrait honed to near-perfection. It sheds light on hidden corners of British royalty's tumultuous relationship with a rapidly changing society. The movie provides a captivating recounting of the events following Princess Diana's death, but more profoundly, it humanizes an icon, the Queen, revealing the vulnerable woman beneath the crown. It's an emotionally poignant and politically astute film that remains as relevant today as it was on its release.

The Queen is a Drama, History movie released in 2006. It has a runtime of 97 minutes. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 90.

How to Watch The Queen

Where can I stream The Queen movie online? The Queen is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Netflix, Pluto TV, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Queen for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Stephen Frears
Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Helen McCrory, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam, Sylvia Syms
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